The National Museum’s department of architecture will later this year arrange the exhibition “Slottet og Linstow – Den nye hovedstadens grunnstein” (“The Royal Palace and Linstow – The Foundation Stone of the New Capital”). When Norway became independent in 1814 Christiania (now Oslo) became its capital once again and in the following decades underwent a rapid transformation which included the erection of numerous monumental buildings worthy of a royal capital.
The most prestigious of these was the Royal Palace, which, through its location to the west of the then city centre, also came to point out the direction in which the capital developed. The young and comparatively inexperienced Hans D. F. Linstow was chosen by King Carl XIV Johan to be the architect for the Palace and it was also Linstow who drew up the new city plan and sketched out the capital’s main street, which is naturally called Karl Johans gate.
The work on the Royal Palace met with so many difficulties and took a quarter of a century. Work started in 1822, the foundation stone was laid in 1825 and the Palace was completed in 1849. By then Carl XIV Johan had been dead for five years and Linstow himself had only two years left to live. Thus he never had time to build much else, but one of Europe’s most beautiful royal palaces and most stately streets are his lasting legacy.
The exhibition, which will run from 7 May to 10 October, will deal with the history and the interiors of the Palace. Among its highlights will be “the Grand Composition”, i.e. Linstow’s most important drawings for the interiors, executed in connection with his study tour to Denmark and Germany.
The National Museum’s department for decorative arts will by the way host the exhibition “Sakrale skatter fra Kreml” (“Ecclesiastical Treasures from the Kremlin”) from 23 September 2010 to 25 January 2011.