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History of churches, museums where 'Sacred Gifts' art resides

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 9:18 a.m. MDT

Heinrich Hofmann's Heinrich Hofmann's "The Capture of Christ," 1858, is in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany. (Provided by Dawn Pheysey)

Editor's note: This article is part of a series for the upcoming BYU Museum of Art exhibit, "The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz," which runs from Nov. 15 to May 10, 2014. For more information, visit sacredgifts.byu.edu.

The paintings in the BYU Museum of Art's upcoming free exhibit, "Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz," which opens Nov. 15, are being transported from several different locations in Europe and New York City. Here is a look at the history of some of the churches and museums.

The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle

In 1859, a fire started from one of the 90 fireplaces that heat the Frederiksborg Castle, located near Copenhagen, Denmark, burning nearly two-thirds of the interior of the castle and destroying many of the paintings.

Loderups Kyrka is in Loderup, Sweden. (Provided by Dawn Pheysey) Loderups Kyrka is in Loderup, Sweden. (Provided by Dawn Pheysey)

Community members, government officials and the royal family pooled resources so the castle could be rebuilt.

One local brewer, J.C. Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg, a Danish brewery, contributed the most money. Jacobsen offered his support of the castle rebuilding provided it would be a national history museum for the people of Denmark, as well as a place for the royal family to live.

After many years, the castle was rebuilt.

In the fire, many paintings depicting the life of Christ, painted by a 16th century Dutch painter, were destroyed. Jacobsen commissioned acclaimed artist Carl Bloch to do 23 paintings of the life of Christ to replace the ones that had burned.

After a commission that lasted 14 years, Bloch's paintings hang in the King's Oratory at the castle.

Loderups Kyrka contains the altar painting, Loderups Kyrka contains the altar painting, "Christ at Emmaus." (Provided by Dawn Pheysey, )

Frans Schwartz, a Danish artist, also has ties to the King's Oratory. Schwartz's father, a wood and ivory carver, carved the ivory rosettes that hang from the ceiling in the oratory.

Hörups Kyrka and Löderups Kyrka

Two churches, Hörups Kyrka and Löderups Kyrka, which are just five minutes apart and set on the picturesque streets of Sweden, are the home of Bloch paintings "Christus Consolator" and "Christ at Emmaus," respectively.

Bloch first painted "Christus Consolator" for Hörups Kyrka in 1875. A few years later, Bloch completed "Christ at Emmaus" in 1878 for Löderups Kyrka. However, the second painting caused some heartache.

Horups Kyrka contains the altar painting Horups Kyrka contains the altar painting "Christus Consolator." (Provided by Dawn Pheysey, )

Church officials at Löderups Kyrka were disappointed their painting, "Christ at Emmaus," only contained three figures — Christ and the two disciples. They had paid the same amount of money as the Hörups Kyrka, and were displeased that "Christus Consolator" had more figures.

Bloch later returned to Löderups Kyrka to paint two additional figures into the painting.

Riverside Church

Riverside Church is in New York City near Columbia University, in northwest Manhattan.

Four Heinrich Hofmann paintings are coming from the interdenominational church, including "Christ and the Rich Young Ruler," "Christ in Gethsemane," "Portrait of Christ, the Savior" and "Jesus in the Temple."

“Life of Christ” paintings by Carl Bloch adorn the King’s Oratory in Frederiksborg Castle.  (Provided by Dawn Pheysey, ) “Life of Christ” paintings by Carl Bloch adorn the King’s Oratory in Frederiksborg Castle. (Provided by Dawn Pheysey, )

John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased these paintings in the 1930s and donated them to Riverside Church. He purchased "Christ in Gethsemane" from independent owner John Zeile, who saved the painting from being destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com Twitter: emmiliewhitlock

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