Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Another royal jubilee exhibition opens

For the past two days I have been in Tromsø, far to the north of Norway, where I attended the opening of yet another of the jubilee exhibitions based on the Royal Collections which are the government’s present to the King and Queen for their 75th birthdays last year. The exhibition was opened by the Minister of Culture, Hadia Tajik, in the presence of the Queen.
There are altogether six different exhibitions shown in different parts of the country and the one at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø shows the art collection which was presented to King Oscar II and Queen Sophie by public subscription on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary in 1882. The collection includes works by, among others, Fritz Thaulow, Hans Gude, Christian Krohg, Harriet Backer, Adelsteen Normann and Otto Sinding and is a rather splendid example of the high standards of Norwegian art of the late nineteenth century. With one exception, the paintings are all normally at the Royal Palace, most of them in rooms which are not accessible during the summer openings, meaning that this is a unique chance to see these artworks.
The majority of the artworks show Norwegian landscapes and coastal motifs, thus reflecting that King Oscar II travelled more widely in Norway than any monarch since Christian IV. Thus there is also a small exhibition dedicated to Oscar II’s travels in Northern Norway in an adjacent room.
The exhibition lasts until 1 September.
The last of the royal jubilee exhibitions will open in Trondheim on 4 June.


  1. The end of the 19th century is my favourite period in history in allmost all aspects of life- art, music, even architecture,and why not also royal history. I loved the Krogh exhibition in Oslo last autumn. Tell me was there any any disputes regarding the ownership of the jubilee collection after the dismantling of the Norwegian/Swedish union in 1905?
    Tromsö is a wonderful town which I last visited in June three years ago. The sun was shining continously for three days and nights. In the botanical garden of Tromsö- probably the most northern in the world-the blue poppies were flowering and I manage to get a plant to take to Stockholm which to everybodys amasement was still producing flowers last summer.
    I guess Tromsö was a bit darker now this time of the year.I went to Venise a eek ago instead and saw the recently restored and reopened royal apartments where Eugène de Beauharnais as Vice King of Italy (not often)resided with his family among others also his oldest daughter Joséphine, later Queen of Norway. I also visited their summer house outside Venise Villa Pisani where they spent more time. In poor Northern Europe we would call the Villa a palace. It has more than one hundred rooms.

    Martin Rahm

    1. I would not say exactly "dispute", but there were discussions within the royal family about what one should keep and what one should leave to the Norwegian state. I have touched on that subject in an article about Oscar II's dynastic decorative scheme - see page 12 at the following link:

      I have myself been to several of the viceregal residences in Northern Italy - the royal palaces in Venice and Milan, Villa Bonaparte in Milan and Villa Pisani at Stra, which is indeed wonderful. About the latter I have also written a blogpost some years ago:


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