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Nationalmuseum logo.svg
NM wiki3.jpg
TypeNational Gallery
Visitors122 133 (2017)
DirectorSusanna Pettersson[1]

Nationalmuseum (or National Museum of Fine Arts) is the national gallery of Sweden, located on the peninsula Blasieholmen in central Stockholm.

The museum's operations stretches far beyond the borders of Blasieholmen, the nationalmuseum manage the National Portrait gallery collection at Gripshom, Gustavsbergporclain museum, a handful of castle collections and the Swedish Institute in Paris (Institut Tessin).[2] In the summer of 2018 Nationalmuseum Jamtli opened in Östersund as a way to show a part of the collection in the north of Sweden.[3]

The museum's benefactors include King Gustav III and Carl Gustaf Tessin. The museum was founded in 1792 as Kungliga Museet ("Royal Museum"). The present building was opened in 1866, when it was renamed the Nationalmuseum, and used as one of the buildings to hold the 1866 General Industrial Exposition of Stockholm.

The current building, built between 1844 and 1866, was inspired by North Italian Renaissancearchitecture. It is the design of the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who also designed the Neues Museum in Berlin. The relatively closed exterior, save for the central entrance, gives no hint of the spacious interior dominated by the huge flight of stairs leading up to the topmost galleries.

The museum was enlarged in 1961 to accommodate the museum workshops. The present restaurant was instated in 1996. The museum building closed for renovation in 2013 and reopened on 13 October 2018. The $132 million overhaul sought to put more of the museum’s collection on display and to match the security, accessibility, fire safety and climate control of a modern institution.


The museum’s early history[edit]

As with several other European national galleries, the history of the Nationalmuseum is largely synonymous with the development from royally to state-owned, and by extension publicly available collections. In Sweden, the foundation was laid for today's state art collections in the 18th century. Several of the works included in the Nationalmuseum collection of, for example, 18th-century French paintings were once owned by Queen Lovisa Ulrika. In 1777, the Queen's financial situation became unsustainable, in part as a result of large-scale and costly collecting. The debts were settled by her son, Sweden's then King Gustav III, in exchange for her renouncing her collections and also Drottningholm palace.

The building[edit]

Floor plans for the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm

The project with a new Royal Museum in Stockholm was one of the largest and most lavish construction works of all time, which would take twelve years to complete and another three years to complete the interior work. The German architect Friedrich August Stüler was responsible for the design of the building and the Swedish architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander was responsible for the interior design. The building was inaugurated in 1866 at the same time as the Stockholm Exhibition in 1866. The Nationalmuseum has been a state building monument since 1935. The building is owned and managed by the National Property Board of Sweden.


The museum collection consists of about half a million drawings from the Middle Ages to 1900, a prominent 17th-century collection of Rembrandt and other Dutch painters, and a collection of porcelain items, paintings, sculptures, and modern art as well. In total the collection amounts to circa 700 000 objects. The museum also has an art library, open to the public and academics.

Nationalmuseum holds the largest collection of portrait miniatures in the world, with more than 5 200 works.[4] The collection features miniatures from many European school's, including works by Nicholas Hilliard, Isaac Oliver, Louis-Marie Autissier among others. A significant portion of works derives from the master collector Carl Fredrik Dahlgren, while the more exclusive works were donated by Hjalmar Wicander, a cork factory owner. Production of bottle corks for the brewery industry provided the basis of his fortune. Wicander also donated funds specifically for additional purchases of miniatures.[5]

Notable works[edit]


The collection of drawings contains c. 500 000 of sheets spanning from the late medieval period to the year 1900.[6] The core begin the more than 2 000 old master drawings collected by Carl Gustaf Tessin. The sheets was acquired at the important sale of the court banker Pierre Crozat in the summer of 1741. Tessin was one of fourteen collector who bought at bargain prices.[7]

See also[edit]


  • Johan Mårtelius (1999). "Norra innerstaden". Guide till Stockholms arkitektur (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Arkitektur Förlag AB. p. 67. ISBN 91-86050-41-9.
  1. ^ da Silva, Tali; Grönberg, Anna (21 March 2018). "Susanna Pettersson blir ny chef på Nationalmuseum" (in Swedish). SVT Nyheter. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Nationalmuseum collection placement". 2 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Nationalmuseum Jamtli". 7 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Portrait miniature at Nationalmuseum". 12 July 2021.
  5. ^ "About the collection". 12 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Nationalmuseum drawings and graphics". 2 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Tessin collection of drawings". 2 July 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°19′43″N 18°04′42″E / 59.32861°N 18.07833°E / 59.32861; 18.07833