The late nineteenth century saw the rapid growth and expansion of universities and colleges in Europe and America. Brandes was a charismatic, popular professor in Copenhagen, giving controversial lectures on the contemporary symbolist movement in literature. Internationally famous, he was invited to lecture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the 1890s. The portrait shows Brandes elevated on his podium under bright lights with a dramatically simple realism.
Artist Harald Slott-Møller, Danish, 1864-1937
  • Georg Brandes at the University in Copenhagen
Date 1889
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions Unframed: 36 1/4 × 31 7/8 inches (92.1 × 81 cm)
Framed: 41 3/8 × 37 × 2 1/8 inches (105.1 × 94 × 5.4 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund
Accession Number 1991.1
Department European Painting
On View Modern N200, Level 2 (see map)
Signed Signed, lower left: Harald Slott-Moller
March 20, 1969, purchased by Rasmussen (Copenhagen, Denmark) lot 187;
until 1990, private collection (Europe);
November 29, 1990, sold by (Christie's, London, England) lot 1;
1991-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)