A spring visit to Gothenburg Museum of Art

Carl Milles 'Poseidon' 1925
Carl Milles sculpture of ‘Poseidon’ (1925) outside the Gothenburg Museum of Art.

Sweden’s pretty flat from what I’ve seen so far. In fact dead flat, though I haven’t been north yet but Gothenburg’s (Göteborg) surrounded by these small pine covered hills which makes it quite picturesque. It’s on the west coast of Sweden and its second largest city and most important port.

At the Gothenburg Museum of Art

So while we were there wandering through the crowds lapping up the spring sunlight we decided to seek more darkness and visit the Gothenburg Museum of Art, which is part of the brilliantly designed Götaplatsen – the centre of the arts in the city. Surprisingly it’s actually light and airy inside and full of masterpieces from the 15th century on such as the usual suspects Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and many more. The Nordic section was of course huge. The ones you’ve heard about such as Munch, Anders Zorn, Carl Larsson and there were also a number of Nordic Fauvist artists I’d never heard of. I liked them better than the French varieties-even Matisse perhaps because their technique was more refined. Can’t remember any names though. You just don’t hear about them in any of the art books on the 20c in english so I’m going to have to do some research. And perhaps go back again in future.

Photo of exterior of Gothenburg Art Gallery by Susan Wellington
Gothenburg’s neo-classical Art Gallery (1925) looming over the tents. It is built of a yellow brick called ”Gothenburg brick” which is common all over the city.
Inside looking out of Gothenburg Museum of Art photo by Susan Wellington
Inside looking out of Gothenburg Museum of Art.
Entrance to Hasselblad Centre photo by Susan Wellington
The Hasselblad Centre is part of the Konstmuseet (Art Gallery) but we didn’t get time to have a look so we’ll have to go back again cos the photos looked fantastic.

My favourite painting at the Museum

My favourite painting at the gallery was the brilliant Rembrandt ‘Knight with a Falcon’ (1666) which was cleaned a few years ago at the Getty museum. His incredible perceptiveness into character and unflinching honesty is beautiful and moving. The colours glow now, which they must as no-one has ever painted so many browns and dark, dull colours.

Rembrandt's 'Knight with a Falcon' 1660
Rembrandt’s ‘Knight with a Falcon’ (1660) A great painting.


Göteborg Museum of Art
Address: Götaplatsen,412 56,Göteborg,Sweden
Opening hours: Tue, Thu: 11.00-18.00
Wed: 11.00-21.00
Fri-Sun: 11.00-17.00
Opening hours may vary.
Phone number: +46313683500
Admission 40SEK ($8/£4) adults, 80SEK ($16/£8) adult entry to special exhibitions, free for students and children under 20. Or free with the Gothenburg Pass.
Related links:
A painting that is well composed is half finished.

Pierre Bonnard


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