I have just returned from Stockholm, where the National Museum was busy getting everything in place for their grand exhibition “Härskarkonst – Napoleon, Karl Johan, Alexander” (“Staging Power – Napoleon, Karl Johan, Alexander”), which will be opened by King Carl Gustaf tomorrow in the presence of former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
The exhibition is expected to be the highlight of the Bernadotte bicentenary and will look at Emperor Napoléon I of France’s, King Carl XIV Johan of Sweden and Norway’s and Emperor Alexander I of Russia’s relations to art and how they used the arts to strengthen their own positions. More than 400 works of art – paintings, costumes, jewellery, furniture and more – are included in this exhibition.
Some examples worth mentioning are Jacques-Louis David’s iconic painting of Napoléon crossing the Alps, a leaf from the golden wreath with which Napoléon crowned himself emperor and the magnificent emerald necklace which was given to Stéphanie de Beauharnais when she married the future Grand Duke of Baden in 1805.
A richly illustrated catalogue, in Swedish and English versions, is available from the National Museum from this week. The exhibition will last until 23 January and will thereafter be shown in a modified version at the State Hermitage in St Petersburg.
The National Museum’s exhibition of Bernadotte portraits, “Bernadotter i svart och vitt” (“The Bernadottes in Black and White”), which opened in June, also remains open until 23 January, but on the coming Sunday some of the exhibited photos will be replaced with others (for preservation reasons).
It was earlier reported that the Royal Collection would show an exhibition on Carl XIV Johan’s family life at the Royal Palace in Stockholm from 1 October, but this has been postponed to 2 December.
There will however be several other exhibitions related to royal history to be seen this autumn. The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace has just extended their magnificent “Victoria & Albert: Art & Love”, which was due to close on 31 October, to 5 December.
As earlier mentioned the Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Palace in Copenhagen will stage an exhibition to mark the 350th anniversary of the introduction of absolute monarchy in Denmark-Norway, while Rosenborg Palace in Copenhagen will hold the exhibition “Pomp og pragt - Kongemagt og enevælde” (“Pomp and Splendour - Royal Power and Absolute Monarchy”) on the same topic. The exhibition at Frederiksborg will run from 16 October to 20 February, while Rosenborg’s lasts from 16 October to 27 February.
A book related to these two exhibitions has also just been published by Gads Forlag of Copenhagen. Magt og pragt – Enevælde 1660-1848 is written by the noted historians Thomas Lyngby, Søren Mentz and Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen.
On the coming Saturday the Amalienborg Museum in Copenhagen will inaugurate their new exhibition “Den elegante fornyer” (“The Elegant Reformer”), which is a belated commemoration of the centenary of Queen Ingrid’s birth in March. This exhibition will close on the late Queen’s birthday, 28 March 2011. The Danish Royal Collection has by the way just got a new website (external link), which is a significant improvement on the old one.
In Antwerp one will soon be able to see the exhibition “Voor eer en glorie - Napoleon en de juwelen van het Keizerrijk” (“For Honour and Glory - Napoleon and the Empire’s Jewels”) at the Diamond Museum in Queen Astrid Square. This exhibition on the jewellery of the Napoleonic age will be open from 1 October to 31 December.
Here in Oslo the exhibition “Slottet og Linstow – Den nye hovedstadens grunnstein” (“The Palace and Linstow – The Cornerstone of the New Capital”) at the National Museum’s architecture department is now in its closing days. The exhibition, which is the first since 1922 to be devoted to Hans D. F. Linstow, the city planner and architect of the Royal Palace, will close on 10 October.
Meanwhile another branch of the National Museum, the National Gallery, last week opened “Sakrale skatter fra Kreml-museene i Moskva” (“Sacral Treasures from the Kremlin Museums in Moscow”), which shows some 90 icons, textiles and ritual and liturgical objects used in the imperial cathedrals of Russia. This is said to be the most valuable exhibition ever held at the National Museum. It will stay open until 16 January.
The photo show Grand Duchess Stéphanie Napoléon’s emerald necklace, which is normally kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The press photo is copyright the Victoria and Albert Museum.