Cool’n crazy sights in Norway Nr 5. Oslo’s National Gallery
The craziest thing about the National Gallery in Oslo was Munch’s Madonna painting on the grey wall in exhibition hall ‘T’, hanging next to The Scream. I visited the Munch’s Museet in great expectation to see The Madonna THERE. It wasn’t there. Instead, Munch’s finest selection is right here, at the National Gallery. That’s actually more annoying than crazy, you’re right.
There is no way to miss The Madonna at the National Gallery, who rests behind thick acrylic glass. The Scream and The Madonna are the only paintings behind a safety cover in the gallery.
Despite those precautions I was captured by Madonna’s beauty and drama.
That image is from Wikipedia. No picture taking allowed in room ‘T’. I refrained from Ninja photography, after Tomek gave me that disapproving look you give kids asking for wall painting in the living room. Instead, we went for a walk enjoying the gallery’s highlights.
You should not miss Christian Krohg’s pictures of what life was like in Norway between 1880-1890. Krohg (1852-1925), dedicated Norwegian artist, focused on common life of common people. He was darn talented, his pictures look like photos. Krohg named his pictures ‘Struggle for Survival’, ‘Sick Girl’, ‘Old Woman cutting bread’ and ‘Albertine to see the Police Surgeon’. Life wasn’t dandy for most Norwegians at the end of the 19th century. Krohg is cool, because he used art to engage the audience in social issues. He clearly didn’t draw to decorate upper class homes.
I looked at those deprived everyday scenes of famine and hardship with fascination for detail and composition – the scenes were too beautifully drawn to be sad. Especially, now that fate has turned around and does very well for Norwegian folk.
When you look around Oslo, you will find that there is little pomp. Oslo’s lacking the opulence of European cities. It’s even more obvious when driving through Norway’s country side. Norway didn’t really prosper until 1969 when oil and gas production started to generate loads of money. Norway is now the third gas exporter of the world, right after Russia and the Saudis. Wait, we are still walking the National Gallery, right?
We came across some interesting art works, that I am going to share.
A portrait of Harry Potter from 1879.
This is a sculpture of the ancient Greeks showing some dashing dress.
I am inspired by the ladies’ hairstyles but will never be able to succeed in Greek braiding technique.
Cellulite and aesthetics united.
There was this four year old girl, who was still being breastfed STANDING by her mother’s breast, which wasn’t the prime reason why she was enrolled for a year of therapy, at the therapy centre I used to work, back in Cologne/Germany. This is relevant, because the National Gallery just redefined ‘strange’. Do you feel that there should be an age limit to breast feeding?
Museum and the pink bag. This is what happens when I exit through the gift shop, Mr Banksy.
I highly recommend you to make a stop at the art books. Arvid’s parody of The Scream is a must-keeper. Have a look at his ‘Scream Parodies’ and try not to laugh.
The Scream nailing Norway’s vices.
Yes, there was Cranach, ElGreco, Monet and Picasso but you can see that collection hanging in most hotel rooms, on jigsaws or posters. The gallery really only owns one decent painting of Picasso, named ‘Man and Woman’, with the rest being simplified attempts of portraits, after Picasso had too much wine, which the art world decided to call ‘cubism’.
Sometimes I wonder whether art experts have ever visited a kindergarten. In my pre-perpetual traveller life I worked as a speech therapist with socially deprived kiddos. Those little souls were about three to six years old and visited our therapy centre on a weekly basis. It was then that I learned how cubism falls into the developmental age of preschool children.
That’s not nice and not fair of me to say. I know. Don’t bother with the hate mail.