It's inevitable to draw comparisons between this world-class gallery and Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde. Though both of the palatial art-filled mansions at Djurgården were constructed roughly at the same time by architect Ferdinand Roberg, the art collection at Thielska far surpasses that of the Painting Prince's.

Ernest Thiel was once a wealthy banker and art collector who commissioned the mansion, drawing upon architectural influences from both the Italian Renaissance and the Far East. Over the years, Thiel began to fill his palatial rooms with great art. However, in the wake of World War I, he went bankrupt and the state took over his property in 1924, eventually opening it as a museum.

Regrettably, we can't see all of Thiel's masterpieces today. In a robbery that made headlines around the world in 2002, many of the finest works were stolen. They have never been recovered. Perhaps some rich private collector is enjoying all this great art himself. Have no fear: The thieves still left behind a treasure trove -- the art-loving thugs couldn't take everything. The remaining highlights include Gustav Fjaestad's furniture; a portrait of Nietzsche, whom Thiel greatly admired; and works by Manet, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Edvard Munch, and Anders Zorn (view his nude In Dreams).


Thiel is buried on the grounds beneath Rodin's statue Shadow.