Thomas Kluge


Balancing between the official and the private sphere, Thomas Kluges portrait is both a story of a modern family and a piece of royal history. It will be exhibited together with other royal portraits by the artist in the Gala Hall from 16 November 2013 to 2 March 2014.
The exhibition, Thomas Kluge. Royal Portraits, gives the public a chance to see the painting before it takes its permanent place in the residence of the royal couple at Fredensborg Palace. The other exhibited portraits are not normally on public display either as they are owned by various private institutions.
In Kluge’s painting the royal couple is depicted in a gilt rococo settee surrounded by their sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren, all in everyday clothing. The present and future monarchs, H.M. The Queen, T.R.H. The Crown Prince and Prince Christian, all make eye contact with us, while their family members are portrayed in their own universe, unprovoked by the gaze of the spectator. The children are at play with the exception of the upright and severe Prince Christian who seems aware of his future responsibilities.

Historical Background
The group portrait is an art historical reference to a renowned painting of the 1880s which depicts the Danish royal couple and their international family. Christian IX and Queen Louise were called “the in-laws of Europe” in their time, and the painting by Laurits Tuxen has become a historic icon.

It has taken four years to create the family portrait and the completion this year adds an extra, historical dimension to the painting as 2013 is the 150th anniversary of The House Glücksburg. The work forms part of the anniversary celebrations.

Other Royal Portraits
The exhibition also presents individual royal portraits and shows the variation in Kluge’s art, from official portraits to a painting of H.M. The Queen which renders her as a private person, without make-up and wearing a knitted sweater.

On Thomas Kluge
Stylistically, Kluge’s art can be characterized as a kind of magic realism, and while making obvious art historical references he is also a significant postmodern innovator. In his works the precise depiction of humans and objects known from reality forms part of a universe which challenges the interpretations of the spectator, as they encompass something other and deeper than immediate, accurate likeness.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition Thomas Kluge. Portraits of the Danish Royal Family is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue, Thomas Kluge. Portraits of the Danish Royal Family (available in English), and by the book Tilbage til Fredensborg (Fredensborg Revisited, text in Danish only) published by Kle•art and written by the art historian Thyge Christian Fønns.

Click here to visit the website of Thomas Kluge