CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arkitektur og Design

National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design


In June 2022, the National Museum of Norway opened at its new location in Oslo. What were once four different institutions, devoted respectively to fine arts, decorative arts, design, and architecture from antiquity to the present day, are now combined under one roof. Netherlandish art is represented in the collection displayed on the ground floor, focusing on the decorative arts, while Netherlandish paintings until 1750 are on view in six rooms on the floor above.

The first paintings were purchased in 1837. Most of the 730-odd Netherlandish paintings were acquired in the museum’s first 100 years. Those on display include works by Lucas van Leyden, Roelandt Savery, Ferdinand Bol, Anthony van Dyck, and Dirck van Baburen. A prints and drawings collection was inaugurated in 1877, and around 265 early modern Netherlandish drawings found their way to Oslo. One of the best-known Netherlandish drawings is The Derelict Church of Sloten by Rembrandt.

The museum is still adding to the Netherlandish collection, if on a small scale. In 2013, it purchased a painting of a blasted oak tree by Jacob van Ruisdael, which demonstrates the Dutch master’s influence on the Norwegian-born Romantic painter Johan Christian Dahl. In recent years the museum has bought drawings by Alida Withoos and Geertruydt Roghman.

Cynthia Osiecki, Curator of paintings before 1800 (October 2023)

Related CODART publications

Cynthia Osiecki, “The National Museum of Norway”, CODARTfeatures, April 2021.

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