Painting Norway: Nikolai Astrup

There cannot be many artists who can depict the same setting over and over again with little change in style and still remain captivating. But Nikolai Astrup is one such artist. Born the eldest son to a strict pastor father in 1880, Astrup moved with his family to the village of Ålhus, Jølster at the age of three. Although he had stints of studying in Oslo in Paris between 1899 and 1902, it was to the quiet village of Ålhus that Astrup eventually returned to for good, living there permanently from 1902 to 1913.

It was Ålhus, then – Astrup’s childhood village – that was to have a lasting influence on the artist. He depicted its houses, mountains, lakes and trees almost obsessively, so it is this same scenery which dominates his work. But the gallery’s curators have not given undue attention to some Scandinavian one-trick pony, who repeatedly painted the same setting for lack of imagination. Rather, Astrup’s familiarity with his landscape meant that he could capture all its different facets by portraying similar subjects (sometimes even exactly the same subject when it comes to his prints) in astonishingly varied ways.

Foxgloves | © Stuart Leech

Foxgloves | © Stuart Leech

Read the full article here.

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