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Viking Jupiter Art Collection

  • Text
  • Norwegian
  • Norway
  • Paintings
  • Viking
  • Artists
  • Widerberg
  • Landscape
  • Photography
  • Motifs
  • Abstract

THE RESTAURANT ENTRANCE

THE RESTAURANT ENTRANCE | DECK 2 ADELSTEEN NORMANN 1848–1918 • NORWAY • OIL ON CANVAS Adelsteen Normann was a skipper’s son from Vågøya, Norway, just north of Bodø. Early on, he began to specialize in painting Norway’s fjord and coastal landscapes for the international art market. And in 1869, he moved to Düsseldorf, Germany, to study under Andreas Müller, Albert Flamm and Eugen G. Dücker, but returned to Norway every year for study visits. He was disregarded by Norwegian art historians who considered him to be a late Düsseldorfer. In recent years, however, he has received renewed attention by the Norwegian art community. Seen in retrospect, Normann was the first northern Norwegian to become a successful painter. Despite his young age and relatively short time at the Düsseldorf School of Painting, Normann participated in an exhibition in Düsseldorf in 1872. He came to the fore with his Norwegian fjord landscapes and depictions of the midnight sun, which were acquired by the German art associations of Düsseldorf, Leipzig and Lübeck. The same year, Normann participated in the Scandinavian Art and Industry Exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark, and his work was acquired by the local art association. In the following years, Normann exhibited widely across Europe and in the United States, receiving a number of medals and awards: among others, the Prince of Wales Medal in 1874, the Medal of Honor at the Paris Salon in 1884 and the Gold Medal in Lyon in 1889. He quickly became the German emperor’s favorite painter. Although Normann lived in Germany throughout his adult life, he found most of his motifs in the landscapes of western Norway; the northernmost part of Nordland, particularly the Lofoten Islands; and Lyngen in Troms. He used sketches and photographs to paint his large Romantic paintings in his studio in Düsseldorf, and later in Berlin. He portrayed small steamships or sailboats sailing on calm seas; many of these renderings were also products of his imagination. Light played a major role in his paintings and he was one of the first Norwegian artists to use the midnight sun as a motif. Normann’s depictions were originally influenced by famous Norwegian Romantic painter Hans Gude (1825–1903) and the late School of Düsseldorf. Normann, however, changed his technique to include broader and coarser brushstrokes than was common among his peers. This was later interpreted as an expression of modernist, French-inspired attitudes. Normann also had an eye for talent. In Kristiania (now Oslo), he discovered the then-unknown Edvard Munch (1863–1944), whom he invited to exhibit in Berlin. The exhibition infamously became a scandal, but it also opened a number of doors for Munch, who later remembered Normann as the “Gentleman from Vågøya.” 38

FJORD LANDSCAPE | YEAR UNKNOWN