Carl Frederic Aagaard left his small town for Denmark's capital to study drawing at the Danish Royal Academy, Copenhagen was the center of a spectacular resurgence of the arts.
By the middle of the 19th century such great figures as Hans Christian Andersen and the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had come out of Copenhagen. The art of the first half of the 19th century in Copenhagen was perhaps the greatest achievement of Denmark's Golden Age. The sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and the painter Eckersberg led an artistic renaissance during the Golden Age that produced, with the establishment of an academy in Charlottenborg in 1754, many famous Danish artists. The Royal Collections, what was later to become the National Collection after the peaceful transition to a constitutional monarchy, actively supported these new artists, buying these "modern" oil paintings the moment they were exhibited.