The Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is one of the most important literary figures of the 19th century, but certainly also one of the most well-traveled men of his time. Overall, he was away from Denmark for nine years. Travelling became his life principle. As a appreciated guest he frequented the highest circles and met artists, musicians and writers throughout Europe, especially in Germany, Italy and France.
Fairy tales such as "The Little Mermaid", "The Emperor’s New Clothes" and "The Princess and the Pea" made Hans Christian Andersen famous during his lifetime. Illustrations by Vilhelm Pedersen, Lorenz Frølich and Otto Speckter contributed to this popularity. Andersen's fairy tales have been translated into over 150 languages. This makes Andersen one of the most widely read authors in the world
In contrast, the subtle and surprisingly modern works on paper that the prominent Danish writer created remain almost completely unknown. They were never made public by Andersen and were primarily presented to his friends as gifts.
The enchanting and bizarre paper world of Hans Christian Andersen ranges from radical, abstract landscapes to grotesque paper cuts, adventurous ink-blot drawings and stunning picture books with collages.
This other, unknown side of Andersen is an artistic discovery that also left a trail for pop art icon Andy Warhol to follow: He captured Andersen and his cut-outs in colourful silkscreen prints and thus made an illustrious contribution to the prolific Andersen reception, which started in the early 20th century and continues to the present day.
Generous loans from the Odense City Museums, The Royal Library Copenhagen and private owners are making this the most comprehensive presentation in Germany of Hans Christian Andersen as an artist.
The exhibition is taking place under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark.