From the exhibition “The Dance of Life: The Collection from Antiquity to 1950”. Photo: Børre Høstland / the National Museum

National Identity: Norwegian Painting ca. 1830–60

The Dance of Life: The Collection from Antiquity to 1950
Tour and workshop
Permanent programme

The National Gallery will be temporarily closed after 13 January 2019.


We will explore well-known works from the beginning of the Golden Age of Norwegian painting. The artists from this era painted scenes inspired by sweeping, majestic landscapes that were full of tall mountains and deep valleys. The featured works on this tour include Tidemand and Gude’s famous painting "Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord" (1847–48). Why is this work commonly regarded as the ultimate expression of Norwegian national-romantic painting? During the tour we explore how fine art, literature, and music promoted the idea of Norwegian national identity that emerged during the mid-nineteenth century. We will also explore the situation in other countries at the time, as the students will help find examples of how other countries have sought to define a national identity through art, literature, and music.

Practical activity

The students are given a sketchbook that can be used for drawings, notes, and comments related to the exhibition. The writing assignment is carried out in the exhibition rooms. Inspired by what they see, the students will make up stories about one of the works of art. The assignment seeks to spark off a creative process. The class can also take the texts with them to school and integrate the work in various subjects.

Duration: Tour: 1 hour/ Tour and workshop: 2 hours

Educational level: Adult education

No. of students: 30

Venue: National Gallery, Universitetsgata 13

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