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The Shadow

The sculpture “Skyggen” (The Shadow) is featured at Vejen Art Museum.

“Skyggen” is a sculptor Niels Hansen Jacobsen's absolute masterpiece, modelled in Paris in 1897-98. The horizontally floating sculpture is both dramatic and eerily gloomy. Here the artist uniquely combines the decorative style of the times – the meandering, organic Art Nouveau – with contemporary Symbolism. With an hourglass in its hand, the “Shadow”, which is conditional to our existence and death, becomes a memento mori – a reminder of the impermanence of all things.

Niels Hansen Jacobsen was very preoccupied with Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, and may well have been inspired by his fairytale about the “Shadow” that seizes power over his master and sends him to his death.