We used to come here just to gaze upon the collection of lithographs by Edvard Munch, on loan from the Munch Museum in Oslo. In the wake of Munch thefts, the art was returned to Oslo due to security concerns. But there is an array of Norwegian painters to introduce yourself to here, and none is better known nationally than Christian Krohg (1852-1925). He is one of the leading figures in the transition from romanticism to naturalism. Other than Munch, he is our favorite Norwegian artist and is celebrated today for his pictures of prostitutes. But when he published a novel, Albertine, on this theme in 1886 he was arrested.
You'll also see works by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914), who bridges the gap between the neoromantic and naïve painting. He is known for his illustrations of fairy tales and legends, especially of trolls. Black-metal bands such as Burzum have used some of his pictures as album art, including illustrations from his book Svartedauen (The Black Death). No one painted Norwegian landscapes better than Hans Fredrik Gude (1825-1903), a romantic painter who celebrated nature. His work is displayed along with his friend's, Adolph Tidemand, another leading figure in Norwegian painting. Both artists drew inspiration from dramatic mountain scenery and idyllic, sunny landscapes.
In all, there are more than 2,750 paintings that go back as early as 1800. Most of the art is Norwegian, although there is a fairly good treasure trove of Danish art as well, along with a limited selection from international artists.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010