Highlights (eng)

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Highlights (eng) – Famous and Forgotten Art Treasures from Nationalmuseum

Mikael Ahlund (ed.), Janna Herder (ed.), Ingrid Lindell (ed.)
Publisher Nationalmuseum

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Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s leading art gallery and this volume presents a selection of its best-known masterpieces – paintings, sculptures and works of applied art – from the Renaissance to our own era. Nationalmuseum’s collections also contain numerous works of art that for different reasons have fallen into obscurity. A number of these are also highlighted: unique and fascinating works that have hitherto rarely been displayed but which really merit attention.

Why do some works of art become more famous and popular than others? Words like “highlights”, “classics” and “masterpieces” are often used unreflectingly in catalogues and home pages produced by galleries, but what in fact is a “masterpiece”? Who gives it this label and how have attitudes to masterpieces shifted through the years? These are some of the questions posed in this volume.

Highlights: Famous and Forgotten Art Treasures from Nationalmuseum also includes a special section on portraits. The role of portraits in today’s visual culture is discussed in the light of history. Starting from questions about self-images and identity, it probes the link between a number of historical portraits and “selfies” – our own period’s self-portraits taken at arm’s length with a mobile camera.

The main authors, Mikael Ahlund, Anders Bengtsson and Margareta Gynning, all work at Nationalmuseum and have extensive knowledge of its collections. Here they offer an initiated and absorbing description of the famous and little-known artistic treasures they contain.