August 10, 2008

Norwegian Art

In an antiquarian bookshop in Oslo, I found some engravings from paintings done in the mid-19th century by Adolf Tidemand - one of Norway's most famous artists. I'm not usually keen on such things, but these engravings depict scenes of everyday Norwegian life during the time of Mathias, then Magnus Tolstrup. Somehow, and despite the fact that I am on a strict and tight budget, I just had to have them. (Apologies to my credit card) My purchase inspired me to look deeper for Norwegian Fine Art - unusual for me as I am usually more of an artifacts hound. Unfortunately, I can't show you photos of my engravings yet - they've been wrapped and sealed in a sort of duty-free arrangement which will put $80 back into my pocket if I leave the package unmolested until I leave Norway. ***sigh***
Anyway, on the advice of the man who sold me the engravings (and was very helpful and informative), I went to the National Gallery - Nasjonalgalleriet -in search of the original paintings from which my engravings were made. Unfortunately, none are currently on display at present, but I did encounter some other work I found remarkable. The first are illustrations from the folksong Asmun Froedegjaevar (1902) by Gerhardt Munthe (1849 -1929), who would have been a contemporary of Magnus Tolstrup - the latter being a brass engraver (who, acording to Dave, suffered some kind of poisoning as a result of his occupation.

The next is Vinternatt i Rondane (Winternight in the Mountains 1914) by Harald Sohlberg (1869 - 1935). In the real, the painting is absolutely luminous and the photo doesn't do it justice. This one's for you Kathy because it reminds me of the Nicholas Roerich paintings you showed me.

This one, too, reminds me of Roerich. It's by Nikolai Astrup (1880 -1940) and entitled JonskobÄl (midsummernight bonfires) (1962).

And, for now - finally - a more contemporary assemblage piece by Sigurd Winge (1909 - 1970) entitled Adam and Eve escaping from the Northern Arcadia, 1942.

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