Peter Paul Rubens, The Judgement of Solomon, c.1617

Baroque – Out of Darkness (until Nov 5) transports visitors back to 17th century Europe, when works by artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens reflected a time marked by alchemy, faith, superstition, witch hunts, conflict, capitalism and climate challenges. Despite this, prosperity flourished among the bourgeoisie and middle class, and with it came a greater demand for art, particularly the kind which spoke to emotions, intellect and morals. One of the fundamental ideas was that life is short and death is near, but in art one could catch a glimpse of eternity, a mindset expressed through a wealth of symbols such as hourglasses, skulls, butterflies and extinguished candles – motifs which artists used with dramatic effect. The exhibition is based on the museum’s extensive collection of European paintings, drawings and prints from the 17th century, including artworks retrieved from the storerooms or from Danish castles, where they have been kept for generations. Now restored, they can be experienced for the first time in over a century to shed new light on a vibrant and turbulent period with echoes of our own time.