Stockholm: Vasa Museum

fullsizeoutput_6937

Beautiful scenes on our walk to the Vasa Museum

Koen and I love visiting museums when we’re doing city trips, so we had to visit the Vasa Museum. To quote the museum’s site:

“The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the world’s only preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia.”

If you’re planning on visiting, you really only need about an hour – maybe 2 hours max. It’s really impressive to see the ship. Definitely watch the introduction video before you start exploring! We learned a lot about how the Vasa ship is continually being preserved – their challenges and successes.

Koen and I also like to walk as much as possible, and Stockholm is beautiful. The sun was shining and slowly melting the frozen layer on the water. Such a gorgeous walk.

fullsizeoutput_68fffullsizeoutput_6909fullsizeoutput_690dfullsizeoutput_6910fullsizeoutput_691cfullsizeoutput_6920fullsizeoutput_6931fullsizeoutput_6933fullsizeoutput_6935fullsizeoutput_6938

fullsizeoutput_6951

The Vasa Museum

 

fullsizeoutput_6944

Koen with the Vasa ship

 

fullsizeoutput_6942

An eroded lion: the lion masks which today decorate Vasa’s gunports are in relatively good condition. when the nails that kept them in place rusted, they fell into the protective silt of Stockholm harbor. In contrast, this mask remained longer on the ship. Bacteria attacked the wood surface, iron and sulphur diffused in, and water currents eroded the lion’s face.

 

fullsizeoutput_6943

Conservation and cosmetics: When PEG, polyethylene glycol, diffuses into waterlogged wood, it stabilizes the cells and prevents the wood from shrinking and cracking when drying. PEG is also used in lipstick and skin lotion. After PEG impregnation, the surface of these two small sculptures was treated with another layer of PEG. The excess PEG has been removed on one sculpture, leaving a shiny, waxy finish.

 

fullsizeoutput_6946

Preserved pottery

 

fullsizeoutput_694f

The message of the sculptures: The Vasa symbolized a ruler who wished to perform stylishly on the European scene. The sculptures were a tribute to the king but at the same time admonished the Swedish people to live up to the virtues possed by Gustavus Adolphus; courage, wisdom, and piety. Inspiration came from the Bible, ancient mythology and the world of sagas and fables.

 

fullsizeoutput_6950

After 12 years of research, the ship rendered in color

 

fullsizeoutput_694b

The recovered colors: During a twelve-year period more than a thousand pigment samples have been taken from the Vasa. Some tweny different kinds of paints have been identified. The pigments are primarily made from minerals and plants, though synthetic paints such as lead-white and red lead have also been used.

 

fullsizeoutput_6949

The sculptures in color

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s