hjornestuen

This was a combined sitting room and best parlour, and the folding table in the middle of the floor acted as both a worktable and dining table. Kamma Rahbek spent most of her waking hours here; here, she wrote her letters, made her boxes and absorbed herself in literature, often in the original language. It was also at this table that meals were eaten. The guests were served with food and drink, and Kamma Rahbek was the natural point around which they gathered. The Rahbeks were fond of entertaining and often had guests in Bakkehuset, though preferably not more than eight at a time, as otherwise the numbers could spoil the spirited conversation in which it was the intention that all should take part. It was also in this room that the very young Hans Christian Andersen read his first, fumbling works aloud for Kamma Rahbek, who gently encouraged the young man. She was the first person ever to call Andersen a poet, something that he never forgot. As in Rahbek’s day, the room is furnished in the Empire style with long draped curtains and with chairs by the windows, from where it was possible to enjoy the view as well as the conversation.

Above the sofa hangs Christian Horneman’s pastel portrait of Knud Lyne Rahbek from 1812. As a professor in the Academy, Horneman was one of the best known miniaturists and portraitists of his time. Above the chiffonier there is a drawing made by Kamma Rahbek, who as a young woman had been taught to draw by Bertel Thorvaldsen.

Also of particular interest are three landscapes that were presented to Kamma Rahbek by Norwegian artists. The two watercolours from 1826 are by J.C. Dahl: Norwegian Landscape and Hønefossen Waterfall. J.C. Dahl (1788-1857) was a major Golden Age painter, who was part trained in the Academy in Copenhagen and during his time there was a regular visitor in Bakkehuset. The third painting is of a Waterfall in Norway by Jacob Mathias Calmeyer (1802-1883), who was also one of the regular visitors to Bakkehuset in the mid-1820s. He was a pupil of Eckersberg. These three landscapes with Nordic motifs are dramatic and with their National Romantic style are typical of the time, when the beautiful countryside was thought to be endowed with spirit.

Continue the tour of the museum by clicking on a new room.