Monday, June 14, 2021

Erik Theodor Werenskiold

Erik Theodor Werenskiold (1855 – 1938) was a Norwegian illustrator and painter. 

He traveled to France, where he studied with Léon Bonnat. He also befriended Charles-François Daubigny, who convinced him of the value of painting outdoors from nature. 

Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) and Erik Werenskiold (1855-1938)

At first he was skeptical about Impressionism: "declaring that he had seen things that made him wonder whether he or the artist was suffering the effects of delirium. He was also surprised to see pictures with red grass and green skies, blue trees and yellow water, and astonished by compositions in which only part of the subject seemed to have been included." (Source)

He is best known for painting a country girl in a regional costume leaning on a fence.

On the Plain (1883)

Blog reader Jonny Andvik says: "He did several version of the motif and this one with only one girl hangs in the Gotenburg museum. It was painted at Gvarv in Telemark, Norway.

September (1883)

Jonny says that the landscape hasn't changed much since he painted it, and still looks a lot like the painting. He also told me that "the people are proud of the dress, now a national symbol called a beltestakk."

Wikipedia says: "In the spring of 1880, Werenskiold was paralyzed in the right arm. 

After half a year of hospitalization and recreation in Switzerland at Oberbayern and Tyrol, he finally regained his health."
Peasant Burial

Blog reader Bill Wiist says: Werenskiold was a very skilled artist with a romantic but still realist view of life. His paintings are among the best storytelling about life of the farmers in his days. 

Erik Werenskiold, The trolls had only one eye together all three, and they took turns using it (1878).

"But he also had a very lively imagination and did some amazing skilled drawings - both for fairytales and for the Snorri Sturluson saga of the kings." 
Erik Werenskiold on Wikipedia

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