Magnus Berg

Magnus Berg, painter and ivory-cutter, was presumably born in Sel i Gudbrandsdalen in Norway. He went to Copenhagen in 1690, where he was introduced to Christian V. The King paid for Berg’s education as a painter and for his stay in Paris and Rome from 1694 to 1698. When he returned to Denmark in 1699, Berg was given living quarters at Frederiksborg Palace and an annual salary from the King.

As a painter, Berg was not outstandingly talented, but as an ivory-cutter he won European fame. His ivory works are mainly small reliefs. Technically, his works span a broad range. In the foreground of the reliefs the carvings are usually almost three-dimensional, while the backgrounds consist of reliefcuttings that are often wafer thin.

Christian VI bought ivory works from Berg on several occasions. The main part of his works are, therefore, in Rosenborg. Among them is a relief to the glorification of Frederik IV, which is considered a principal work.