The Gods of Sweden’s Nationalmuseum

The Big 3 abide in a courtyard near the entrance to the Nationalmuseum in central Stockholm. There, Odin, Thor, and Balder are carved in stone, and look very, very austere. They also look more Roman than Norse, with their togo-like attire barely covering their impeccable bodies of Italian Carrara marble, but that was the fashion of sculpture at the time of their creation. They were created in the 19th century by Bengt Erland Fogelberg, who also created many other magnificent statues, particularly of Swedish kings, which are largely located in very prominent outdoor spaces in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

But back in The Sculpture Courtyard, the Roman effect is further augmented by the presence of members of the actual Roman pantheon (Venus is present). The entourage is completed with famous statesmen, artists, and authors from Swedish history.

Nationalmuseum is a treasure trove of Swedish art. It covers a vast array of eras, styles, and themes, but for anyone interested in romanticized visions of the pagan Scandinavian past, it must be noted that it also hosts one of the greatest contributions to that particular niche of all: Carl Larsson’s painting, Midvinterblot, as shown below.