Bergen and the World: 1400-1900

Bergen and the World: 1400-1900

At the Bergen Museum of Art (KODE) on the west-coast of Norway you can follow the city’s own art collection through several centuries, from the oldest paintings in the collection up to the 1900s. The exhibition is called Bergen and the World: 1400-1900.

Bergen and the World: 1400-1900
KODE, Bergen Museum of Art

In the oldest part of the collection you can experience religious motifs, stately portraits and bustling crowds in Dutch genre paintings. Immerse yourself in magnificent depictions of Norway’s mountains and fjords in art from the 1800s – these can also include evocative scenes from everyday life.

Painting by Christian Krogh

Norwegian ‘golden age artists’ such as Christian Krohg, Harriet Backer and Frits Thaulow are represented with works that offer, among other things, realistic depictions of poor neighborhoods in Kristiania (Oslo), women’s everyday lives, woodcutters, the joys of sea bathing and lively trade at Bergen’s fish market.

Bergen and the World: 1400-1900
“Birch in Storm” by J. C. Dahl

A separate section is devoted to the nineteenth-century master J.C. Dahl and his students. The amazing story of Dahl, who came from a poor, underprivileged family but became a professor of painting in continental Europe, is also a story of how the Norwegian art scene came to be established after 1814. Several pictures in this exhibition are not only painted by Dahl but also donated by him from his private art collection. Dahl functioned as an advisor when the collection was first established, particularly for purchases of works from Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the German-speaking regions and England – all nations with rich cultural heritage.

Bergen and the World: 1400-1900
Painting by Lars Hertervig

The objective for part of this collection was to give Bergen’s inhabitants cultural insight and to present artists and craftspersons with superlative examples to emulate. The collection was intended to promote a European ideal of taste and to be an instrument for educating citizens and ennobling their character. Education and offering visitors first-hand experiences with art are still basic objectives for today’s museum. In this way, the legacy of the first founders of Norway’s modern institutions remains alive.

Until 30 December 2018

Bergen and the World: 1400-1900, source: Bergen Museum of Art


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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.