Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke

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Prince Eugen
Duke of Närke
Photograph of Prince Eugen, c. 1911
Born(1865-08-01)1 August 1865
Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died17 August 1947(1947-08-17) (aged 82)
Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, Sweden
Eugen Napoleon Nicolaus
FatherOscar II of Sweden
MotherSophia of Nassau
Prince Eugen painting (c. 1905)
Prince Eugen 1900.
Prince Eugens grave at Waldemarsudde.

Prince Eugen Napoleon Nicolaus of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Närke (1 August 1865 – 17 August 1947) was a Swedish painter, art collector, and patron of artists.


Prince Eugen was born at Drottningholm Palace as the fourth and youngest son of Prince Oscar, Duke of Östergötland. His mother was Sophia of Nassau. The newborn prince was granted the title of Duke of Närke. Upon his father's accession to the thrones of Sweden and Norway as King Oscar II, the Duke of Närke became fourth in line to the throne. Showing early artistic promise, he studied in Paris, and went on to become one of Sweden's most prominent landscape painters.[1] Throughout his life Prince Eugen was a supporter of fellow artists, and also involved in many cultural organisations and committees. A homosexual bachelor,[2] he bequeathed his villa Waldemarsudde at Djurgården in Stockholm, and its collections, to the nation. It is now one of Sweden's most popular museums.


The Duke of Närke was a great admirer of Norwegian nature and frequently visited Christiania (later known as Oslo). His letters show that he preferred its artistic milieu to the more constrained Stockholm one. His most notable Norwegian friends were the painters Erik Werenskiold and Gerhard Munthe; he remained attached to them and to Norway until his death.[3]

In 1905, the personal union between Norway and Sweden was broken by the Parliament of Norway. The writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson mentioned the possible candidature of Prince Eugen for the throne of Norway. Another writer, Knut Hamsun, had suggested the Prince as a suitable candidate already in 1893.[3] His father, however, refused to allow any of his sons to ascend the Norwegian throne.[4]

Prince Eugen was the only Swede represented at an exhibition in Oslo in 1904.[citation needed] The explanation was that he was a prince of Norway until 1905 and that his relations with the Norwegian artists caused him to be seen as Norwegian until the dissolution of the union.[3]


After finishing high school, Prince Eugen studied art history at Uppsala University. Although supported by his parents, Prince Eugen did not make the decision to pursue a career in painting easily, not least because of his royal status. He was very open-minded and interested in the radical tendencies of the 1880s.[5] He was first trained in painting by Hans Gude and Wilhelm von Gegerfelt.

Between 1887 and 1889,[5] he studied in Paris under Léon Bonnat, Alfred Philippe Roll, Henri Gervex and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes.[5][6] Puvis de Chavannes's classical simplicity had the greatest influence on Prince Eugen's work.[5] The Duke devoted himself entirely to landscape painting,[5] becoming one of the era's most prominent landscape painters.[1] He was mainly interested in the lake Mälaren, the countryside of Stockholm (such as Tyresö, where he spent his summers), Västergötland (most notably Örgården, another summer residence) and Skåne (especially Österlen).[5]

Prince Eugen's works[edit]

Death and legacy[edit]

Prince Eugen bought Waldemarsudde, on Djurgården in Stockholm, in 1899 and had a residence built there within a few years.[5] After his death at Drottningholm Palace on 17 August 1947, the residence became an art museum and, in accordance with his will, property of the state.[1] Eugen never married, in an era when royal princes almost always found princesses to wed. His homosexual orientation was unknown to the general public.[8]

Honours and arms[edit]


National honours[9]

Foreign honours[9]


Arms as Prince of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Närke 1865 to 1905

Arms as Prince of Sweden and Duke of Närke 1905 to 1947

Royal Monogram of Prince Eugen of Sweden


  1. ^ a b c "Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde". Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  2. ^ Arne Norlin i Familjen Bernadotte, makten, myten, människorna, ISBN 978-91-86597-96-2, p168
  3. ^ a b c Barton, Hildor Arnold (2003). Sweden and Visions of Norway: Politics and Culture, 1814-1905. Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0809324415.
  4. ^ Haakon VII Biography of King Haakon VII in connection with NRK's series "Store norske" (Great Norwegians) (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Prince Eugen". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Eugen Napoleon Nicolaus". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Waldemarsuddekrukan pothistory". Archived from the original on 2013-04-18.
  8. ^ Lindqvist, Herman (2013-08-03). "Stort hysch om kungars sexualitet". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), vol. 2, 1947, p. 6, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via
  10. ^ Sveriges statskalender (in Swedish), 1925, p. 935, retrieved 2018-01-06 – via
  11. ^ - The Order of the Norwegian Lion
  12. ^ Bille-Hansen, A. C.; Holck, Harald, eds. (1944) [1st pub.:1801]. Statshaandbog for Kongeriget Danmark for Aaret 1944 [State Manual of the Kingdom of Denmark for the Year 1944] (PDF). Kongelig Dansk Hof- og Statskalender (in Danish). Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz A.-S. Universitetsbogtrykkeri. p. 16. Retrieved 4 May 2020 – via da:DIS Danmark.
  13. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Royal Thai Government Gazette (9 March 1898). "พระราชทานเครื่องราชอิสริยาภรณ์ ทีประเทศยุโรป" (PDF) (in Thai). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2019-05-08. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ "Caballeros de la insigne orden del toisón de oro", Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish), 1915, p. 194, retrieved 5 May 2020
  16. ^ "Real y distinguida orden de Carlos III". Guía Oficial de España (in Spanish). 1915. p. 198. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  17. ^ "No. 27807". The London Gazette. 16 June 1905. p. 4251.
  18. ^ "Schwarzer Adler-orden", Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (supp.) (in German), vol. 1, Berlin, 1886, p. 5 – via{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  19. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1896), "Großherzogliche Orden" pp. 62, 76
  20. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1900), "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p. 16 Archived 2020-09-06 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Italy. Ministero dell'interno (1920). Calendario generale del regno d'Italia. p. 58.