The impressive Neptune Fountain rises up in the Outer Courtyard; the gods of antiquity stand in niches along the wall above the moat; and in the Inner Courtyard, 19 gods form three ornate rows in the “Marble Gallery” above the museum entrance.
The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces has been working since 2017 to recreate how these figures appeared in the time of King Christian IV. The completed sculptures are expected to be installed on the museum’s facade in 2028. The first completed sculpture in the restoration effort, which depicts Saturn devouring his son, will be presented to the public for the first time in the exhibition.
The special exhibition marks this extensive restoration by conveying the history of the Marble Gallery from its original making through restorations over the centuries. Visitors can see the original sculptures from the 1600s alongside earlier restorations, and learn more about how a sculpture is made. The exhibition also highlights how today’s sculptors are working to recreate the original figures.
Christian IV commissioned the Marble Gallery’s impressive ensemble in the early 1600s – a period when antiquity was the height of fashion in Europe. The sculptures were made by the most famous sculptor of the day, Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621) of the Netherlands. Christian IV envisioned the Marble Gallery and Frederiksborg Castle as part of a larger European cultural movement of paying homage to antiquity, while also establishing a link to the power and eternity represented by the gods of ancient Greece and Rome.
The exhibition unfolds across the castle’s ground floor and Christian IV’s old wine cellar, which has been converted into an exhibition space especially for this event.