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The beginnings of this collection were made around the time of Christian II.
In his diary from 1521 the German painter Albrecht Dürer says he has given the King "the best pieces of all my prints".
Although the papers contain a great number of foreign works, Danish art constitutes the main part of the collection.
This collection features some of the museum’s most famous pieces from artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Derain and Braque.The collection became particularly well provided with Flemish and Dutch art.The most important purchase during Morell's term as keeper was Christ as the Suffering Redeemer by Andrea Mantegna.More recently, the collection has been influenced by generous donations and long-term loans.In 1928 Johannes Rump's large collection of early French Modernist paintings was donated to the Museum.