Denmark's Best Kept Secret -- The Former Residence of Artist Richard Winther

We are constantly inspired by great artists, architecture and design from around the globe. This time, we discovered an impeccable piece of hidden gem in the tiny town of Denmark, where one of our founders grew up.

On the Danish island of Lolland, we visited the old residence of painter and sculptor Richard Winther. Nestling quietly in the minuscule village of Vindeby, this is the place where the former professor at the Royal Danish Art Academy and enfant terrible of Danish art spent his otium.

Richard Winther's House and the TOTE 01. Photography by: Thomas Olafsson & Baixiang Chen

Richard Winther's House and the TOTE 01. Photography by: Thomas Olafsson & Baixiang Chen

 

After years in Paris and other big cities of Europe, Richard Winther returned to this village in 1993, away from everything we know in the global artistic map, and lived until his death in 2007. Once a nursing home for elderly people, this house was not only Richard Winter’s home, but also as his atelier and workshop. The unique character of the house is now considered a treasure in Danish cultural history. And it is probably one of Denmark’s best kept secret that not many have heard about even domestically.

On the outside, the typical Danish brick house looks no different than any other traditional residences in the region. But stepping inside, a whole new world of quirky, colorful and painting and sculptures arise and surround everywhere you go. The wide range of wall paintings and sculptures carved out from the original structure of the house, most of which are inspired by antique mythology, create an unusual atmosphere in every corner of the house. We were absolutely stunned, , the completely different universe he had created so thoughtfully, wholeheartedly, and so powerfully. This was the space he created for his soul and his artistic pursuits, perhaps never wanted to be known or discovered, the treasure he buried showcases all his thoughts and inspirations, in a lonely man’s shell.

Richard Winther in 2007 by Steen Møller Rasmussen

Richard Winther in 2007 by Steen Møller Rasmussen

Wall painting at Richard Winther's residence and the BACKPACK 01. Photography by: Thomas Olafsson & Baixiang Chen

Wall painting at Richard Winther's residence and the BACKPACK 01. Photography by: Thomas Olafsson & Baixiang Chen

Richard Winther’s art can be described as humorous, diverse and experimental. He liked to compare himself to various great artists and adopted the nickname Rdo – or Richardo – a reference to the master painter Leonardo da Vinci. Many of Richard Winther’s wall paintings deal with erotic themes from ancient Roman and Greek culture. Scenes from the myth of Artemis and Actaeon can be found on the walls along with the story of the priest Jerome – an adorer of women and a character he considered as his alter ego.

Today, the association Richard Winther Foreningen owns the house. It raises money for restoration and conservation of the house, and it aims to establish a museum dedicated to Richard Winther.

With photographers Baixiang Chen and Thomas Olafsson, we took the BACKPACK 01 and the TOTE 01 on a journey and spent a Saturday afternoon at Winther’s palace. And we present you the images we shot on analog as well as digital cameras.

Photography: 

Thomas Olaffson & Baixiang Chen for TOTEM COLLECTIVE

Writer:

Morten Krogh

Editor:

Bohan Qiu