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Rasmus Meyer´s Collection

Highlights from Norwegian Art 1850–1916

When Permanent exhibition

Where Rasmus Meyer

Price 150/100/0 NOK

A delightful wander through Norwegian highlights, including J.C. Dahl, Edvard Munch and Harriet Backer.

Rasmus Meyer passed away in 1916. His children then donated their father’s collection of art and historical furniture to the city of Bergen.

Meyer's dream was a public building where the works of art could be exhibited for a larger audience. Today, as part of Kode, the donation comprises one of the finest collections of art from the Norwegian "golden age" (1880–1905).

The beautiful museum building enables you to have a delightful wander through historical interiors from Bergen while exploring the art.

Highlights from "the Golden Age"

Across two floors, you wander through the golden age of Norwegian art history, from 1880 to 1905 and onwards to 1920. We show works by artists like J.C. Dahl, Hans Gude, Harriet Backer, Christian Krohg, Kitty Kielland, Nikolai Astrup and Erik Werenskiold, as well as Norwegian Matisse students Henrik Sørensen and Jean Heiberg.

We also show historic Bergen interiors in the elegant Blumentahl room with its wall and ceiling paintings from around 1760 covering the entire room.

A man in front of a painting by Edvard Munch

Foto: Dag Fosse / Kode

Photograph from the Rasmus Meyer's collection depicting two visitors looking at a painting.

Foto: Dag Fosse / Kode

Photograph from the Rasmus Meyer's collection depicting a guide talking to a group of visitors in front of exhibited paintings.

Foto: Thor Brødreskift

Photograph from the Rasmus Meyer's collection depicting a group of visitors in front of exhibited paintings.

Foto: Thor Brødreskift

Photograph from the Rasmus Meyer's collection depicting a teenage couple, a boy and a girl, sitting in front of three paintings, facing each other and smiling.

Foto: Dag Fosse / Kode

"[My goal is] to collect any artist who has had any significance for Norwegian art, a series of good paintings showing the artist's development over time".

Rasmus Meyer
A painting by Harald Sohlberg depicting Sagene in Oslo in the early 1900s. The motif is a winter morning street-view, with a snow covered street and small wooden houses. The sky is clear with a bleak morning sun ascending from the city horizon.

Harald Sohlberg, Fra Sagene, 1911.

A painting by Adolph Tidemand depicting a traditional wedding procession by horse and by feet through a forest. The painting is from the late 1800s in Norway and the people depicted wear traditional bunads. .

Adolph Tidemand, Bryllupstoget gjennom skogen, 1873.

A painting by Harriet Backer depicting a sparsely decorated living room, where a young woman is sitting on a wooden chair reading at a table. The room is lit only by a simple oil lamp.

Harriet Backer, Ved lampelys, 1890.

A painting by Hans Gude depicting a impressive Norwegian high mountain landscape with a lake, large snow-clad mountains and a single man walking in the nature with his dog.

Hans Gude, Høyfjell, 1876.

A painting by Christian Krohg depicting a sailor in classic oil clothes and a Sou'wester hat, looking in a monocular.

Christian Krohg, Losgutt, 1913.

The Munch Collection in Bergen

Today, Kode and Bergen are home to the world’s third largest Edvard Munch collection.

In the collection you find major works from all periods of Munch’s artistic career. Among the highlights are “Jealousy”, “Melancholy”, “Woman in Three Stages” and “Evening on Karl Johan Street”.

In the Munch exhibition at Kode you'll meet the young painter trying to find his own visual language, including the first painting to clearly point towards the Munch we recognise most. "Inger on the Shore" (1889) is known as the painting through which ‘Munch becomes Munch’. Instead of painting an external presentation of his sister Inger, he decides to delve into her emotional life.

You also meet Munch the Modern artist. Self-assured, he launches into his great project, the "Frieze of Life", which is a poetic cycle on "Life, love and death".

At last we meet an artist standing at a crossroad, and the theme shifts from inner darkness to external light. You'll see a mature man who has struggled with his own demons but moves on, both personally and as an artist.

The Bergen Munch collection consists of more than 100 works on paper and 50 paintings, of which most are from Rasmus Meyer’s collections. Meyer was among the first distinguished collectors of Munch’s art.

The painting Jealousy by Edvard Munch depicting a man with a depressed outlook standing in front of a couple. The couple behind him, a man and woman, are standing before an apple tree, the man in dark clothes and the woman naked with an open red robe.

Edvard Munch: Sjalusi / Jealousy (1895)

A painting by Edvard Munch depicting a young woman sitting on her bed, getting dressed in the morning light. She has simple clothes, a long skirt, and is about to put on her socks. She is looking out the window with a dreaming facial expression.

Edvard Munch: Morgen / Morning (1884)

A painting by Edvard Munch depicting a group of people in mourning, standing by the bed where the deceased is lying, covered in a withe cloth.

Edvard Munch: Ved dødssengen / At the Deathbed (1895)

A painting by Edvard Munch depicting his sister Inger, sitting on the shore on a Norwegian light summer eve. She wears a withe long dress and holds a hat in her hands, sitting on some large rocks, looking towards the horizon.

Edvard Munch: Sommernatt. Inger på stranden / Summer Night. Inger on the Beach (1889)

A colour-ful self-portrait by Edvard Munch, painted in dotted strokes. He is sitting on a chair, facing towards the viewer, wearing a dark blue suit and tie. Behind him is a open window.

Edvard Munch: Selvportrett / Self Portrait (1909)

A painting by Edvard Munch depicting a group of ghost-like people wandering down the street of Oslo, towards the viewer. The all wear dark clothes and hats, and they have pale faces and large open eyes staring straight at you.

Edvard Munch: Aften på Karl Johan/ Evening on Karl Johan (1892)

Events in Rasmus Meyer

More on the Exhibition

The Rasmus Meyer Collection is a permanent exhibition. Very few changes are made to the selection on display – but it will vary throughout the year due to conservation or works being on loan.