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The French Salon

The French Salon is closed. Originally designed by Arnstein Arneberg in 1924, the National Gallery’s charming café, the French Salon, was restyled by interior designer Kristin Jarmund in 2002.

The National Gallery is temporarily closed. The new National Museum opens in 2020. To secure a safe moving process the National Gallery has to be temporarily closed, as it's unsafe to combine with normal operations.

The interior of the French Salon

With its polished marbled stucco and gilded ornamentation, the French Salon is one of the National Gallery’s most sumptuous rooms. Opened in 1924, the room’s name and design reflect its original purpose, which was to house a rich collection of plaster copies of French 17th and 18th century sculptures, a gift from the French state. The originals are in the Louvre, and the copies were made in the Louvre’s own casting workshop.

The architect Arnstein Arneberg was entrusted with the design of the room, which he decorated with marbled stucco, hand-crafted, gilded radiator screens featuring fleurs-de-lis, and solid oak floors. The stucco walls, which are made, not of marble, but of polished and painted plaster, were the work of the craftsman Giovanni De Paolis.

In the early 1960s, the room was converted into an exhibition hall for antique sculpture, and later still, to an office. In 2002, it was restored to its original glory, but with new furnishings. Responsible for the restyling was the designer Kristin Jarmund.

The reliefs in the wall panels were part of the original French gift. The female figures are taken from La fontaine des Innocents by Jean Goujon, which was constructed in Paris in 1547, and later transferred to the Louvre. The busts in the windows are of (from the left): the painter and museum director Pierre Mignard, by Desjardins, Marie Antoinette, by Lecomte, and Le Grand Conde, by Coysevox.

The National Gallery

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