Art: Monster in the Imagination

When Hans Christian Andersen died in 1875 at the age of 70, he was famous at home in Denmark. Some of the fairy tales on which his enduring name rests had already found their way into translation. But few people knew that the vain, morbid, brilliantly imaginative Dane was also a visual artist of real talent, or that his work, when viewed down the corridor of a century, would come to look quite "modern."

Like every educated traveler in those pre-Kodak years, Andersen drew assiduously while journeying through Portugal, Spain and Italy. But these...

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