August 19, 2006
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Herring, Glypotek, Nikolaj

Lunch at Torvaldsen and a plate of herring three ways, with a large beer. Including red herring! At least, one of the herrings was reddish! The herring preparations seem to have sames, in the general vein of "farmer's daughter herring". There is probably a story.

Someone could write an interesting footnote about narrative food.

In Denmark, a large beer is (fortunately) much smaller than a small beer in München. Any way you slice it, the herring was much better than my customary herring, which comes in jars.

Herring, Glypotek, Nikolaj

I wanted to mention that the ambient bread in Europe, the bread you find in any old restaurant or café, still seems to be much better than the better bread in the US. Two meals into the trip, and I've had three different kinds of bread: a crumbly white, a richly golden bread that I'd have supposed was cornbread (but what would cornbread be doing in Denmark?), and a nice variant of the densely seeded dark bread that I think of as "German breakfast bread". Iggy's should tune in.

The entire collection of French painting at the Ny Carlsberg Glypotek was closed. Shades of the memorable visit to the Vatican. A room filled with Carpeaux mostly goes to show that you can get a little bit too much Carpeaux without needing a very big room. And I like Carpeaux. The Roman portraits are fine, especially since I'm reading Osgood's wonderful book on Caesar's Legacy.

Herring, Glypotek, Nikolaj
Herring, Glypotek, Nikolaj

Some of the 19th century Danish sculpture was great. Stephan Sinding, in particular, has a wonderful reaction to Thorvaldsen's neoclassicism. His lovers actually look like they're interested in each other -- the boys have a certain Christmas-morning look about them as they go about the unwrapping. He didn't get the What do I do now? part of it, but maybe that's just 20th century.

His Death and the Maiden is wonderful in a different way. This is a strain of 19th century art that you have to see right now before they hide it all away again, along with all those little girls whose dressed just happen to be falling off. There's strong emotion here, and while you might not want to have dinner with the guy who thought this up, it really does say something. (See also Little Women and Little Nell.)