Tuesday, February 07, 2012
The World of Oleanna: Nicolai Astrup
Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928) was a painter and woodcut artist who grew up in Ålhus along the Jølster lake--about three miles to the north-northwest from Oleanna and Elisabeth's farm in Oleanna. He studied in Oslo, Paris, and in Germany before returning to Jølster, the subject of many of his paintings. This (very zen) video, filmed at his home on Jølster (which is now a museum), gives you a great idea of the landscape that inspired Astrup. He eventually moved across the lake (in 1912) and lived on a building in Myklebust, the farm where Oleanna and Elisabeth lived.
In 1905, his first solo exhibition in Christiania (Oslo) was a success, and a number of his paintings were purchased for the Norwegian National Gallery. I love how bright his paintings are, and the obvious affection he has for the land and its people. This clickable map links to paintings and drawings of specific areas around Jølster.
The Astrup official website is jam-packed with great information, and the full collection of all of his work (paintings, drawings, engravings). I can't share the images here on Blogger; I strongly encourage you to visit http://nikolai-astrup.no/en/artwork/159 to check out all of his beautiful work.
Fun fact: I briefly flirted in the first draft with the idea of making Nikolai a key player in Oleanna but he didn't want to participate, no matter how hard I tried. He's still knocking around in my subconscious somewhere, though. He may get a story of his own.