The Johannes Larsen Museum at Møllebakken in Kerteminde offers more than just an artistic experience of a special quality. The museum is also a fascinating historical architectural environment with the artist's home in the centre, surrounded by more recent buildings of great architectural interest.Johannes Larsen was the most prominent member of the Fyn School of painters. The Fyn School was largely formed in Kerteminde - "the most beautiful little town in the world" as Johannes Larsen described the town where he was brought up. He and his wife Alhed lived here, as did Anna and Fritz Syberg and, from time to time Christine and Sigurd Swane.
Together they formed a colony of artists which acted as a magnet in attracting other artists and writers to the town. The magnetism still works, as can be seen from a visit to the museum, which portrays the themes of the artistic life of the area up to the present day.
A visit to the artists' home
The artists' home is the core of the museum and a down-to earth art linked to sensory perception and the beauty of everyday life has created fertile soil here. Indeed the whole site can be viewed as one large painting.The house on Møllebakken was built for the couple in the beginning of the 1900's. Of the two, Johannes Larsen achieved the most fame, but Alhed was also a talented artist who concentrated on floral paintings. The couple's home is still unaltered, with the same furniture and decoration - and naturally a lot of painting on the walls.
During the 1900s Alhed and Johannes Larsen hosted a large number of the leading cultural figures of the day in their sitting room - painters, writers, architects and many others enjoyed the couple's hospitality.
A garden full of charming buildings
The "workshop" is an extension of the house, and here the couple had their separate studios. On the south side of the building there is still the luxuriant conservatory with its wealth of plants.
In the centre of the extensive grounds, with the numerous rare and attractive trees, you find the old summerhouse, which Johannes Larsen used as a vinery. On the edge of the grounds, with a view over the bay, you find the old laundry building and the wooden Svanehus, which is now a café.
A more recent exhibition building containing the Pax Collection fits in beautifully with the older architecture. The displays here include a large number of works by Christine Swane and Fritz Syberg. A total of more than 50 artists is represented in the 15 rooms, organised by themes.
The old windmill also belongs to the museum, as Johannes Larsen owned it. From here there is a superb view over the North Beach and the Great Belt. Next to the windmill you find the old mill house, where visitors today can eat packed lunches.