Images of an Era. Norway 1814
17 January 2014–18 May 2014
The National Gallery
To celebrate the bicentennial of Norway's constitution, the National Museum presents three historical exhibitions under the common title “Norway 1814”, in three different venues: the National Gallery, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, and The National Museum – Architecture. These exhibitions will explore the art of the period in a new light. Visitors will be able to view many works that have rarely if ever been shown in public before. The exhibition is accompanied by a packed programme of events aimed at a broad audience, and a variety of educational activities for children and young people.
The exhibition shows the development of the visual arts in dialogue with new ideals that were emerging in the art field internationally at the time. Landscape depictions presented Norwegian nature, with its waterfalls and forests, as both beautiful and rich in resources. It wasn't only Norwegian-born artists who furthered this development; Danish, German, Swedish and English artists also helped to redefine perceptions of Norwegian nature. The ideals of the new bourgeoisie found expression in portrait painting, which renders many of the people who played central roles in building the new nation.
One important institution in the growth of the Norwegian art scene was the Royal College of Design (Tegneskolen), founded in 1818. The exhibition offers a detailed introduction to the artists who taught and studied there and the work they produced in the school’s early years.