4. Christian IV’s Winter Room and Studiolo
In order to appreciate the extraordinary interior of the Winter Room at its best, one should visit on a bright summer’s day, preferably in the afternoon, when sufficient light pours in through the west windows.1 The atmosphere has a unique sense of authenticity, almost as if Christian IV (1577-1648) just left the room. Ninety-five paintings, mostly of Flemish origin, are mounted in the wall panelling in three rows above each other. Seen close up, they have splendid and playful compositions, with landscapes with hunting scenes being in the majority, only alternated by a few panels with mythological or religious content or outdoor scenes, including winter landscapes.
During a conservation and restoration project of the Winter Room carried out between 1985 and 1999,2 many of the paintings were taken out of the panelling, in most cases for the first time since they were mounted almost 400 years earlier. This has made it possible to study traces of the craftsmanship, applied during the construction, on the individual panels and their frames,.3 Furthermore, the brickwork behind the wainscoting and panel paintings could be scrutinized for evidence of possible structural alterations. In 2014 the panel paintings have been studied closely again and photographed especially for the Gerson Digital project.4 All of them have been entered in the database of the RKD.
Winter Room at Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, 1613-1620
panel (oak), oil paint 49/75 x 65/104 cm
on the back :
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle
Karel van Mander (III)
Portrait of King Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648), c. 1640
canvas, oil paint 118,8 x 98,8 cm
Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Collection - Rosenborg Castle, inv./cat.nr. 21-126
1 Wadum 1987A; Wadum 1988.
2 I am especially grateful to M.M. Bang, who completed the treatment and documentation of the Winter Room panels initiated by the author.
3 Verougstraete-Marcq 1989. Unfortunately, the panels of the Studiolo were not part of the technical studies.
4 Photographed by Ricardo Bucarella, SMK-CATS.