From Gustavus Adolphus to Arn. February 2014 marked the opening of a major exhibition in which the most famous history paintings from the Gothenburg Museum of Art and Nationalmuseum in Stockholm were shown side by side for the first time.
The exhibition follows the visual rhetoric of history painting forward in time to 20th century war photography, the images from the moon landing and films with historical themes. History painting from the 19th century often depicts dramatic episodes in Swedish history in a large format. During the Modernist period this narrative style of painting went out of fashion, but in other media such as film and photography its visual rhetoric has been continued and developed.
This was discussed both in the exhibition and in the exhibition catalogue, in which seven external researchers from different disciplines provide new perspectives on the subject. The images of history painting raise questions about how images communicate, the writing of history and the formation of national identity that are highly relevant in the multicultural Swedish society of today.
Exhibition catalogue A Painted History: Swedish History Painting during the Nineteenth Century
Editor: Kristoffer Arvidsson
Authors: Kristoffer Arvidsson, Tomas Björk, Peter Ericsson, Maria Görts, Mats Jönsson, Isabella Nilsson and Berndt Arell, Astrid von Rosen, Nina Weibull, Louise Wolthers
Languages: Swedish, with a summary in English
Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014
Paperback, 195 pages
Price: 185 SEK
Buy your copy at the museum store or see Order information.