5 years ago

Viking Jupiter Art Collection

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


THE RESTAURANT ENTRANCE | DECK 2 CARL SUNDT-HANSEN 1841–1907 • NORWAY • OIL ON CANVAS Carl Sundt-Hansen’s interest in folk painting developed in Copenhagen, Denmark, and during his years at the Düsseldorf School of Painting in Germany, where he studied under Benjamin Vautier. Inspired by Vautier’s carefully executed, gray-grained images of figures in indoor settings and the popular folk art tradition of Norwegian painter Adolph Tidemand (1814–1876), Sundt-Hansen soon emerged with the distinctive pictorial characteristics that he stuck with throughout his life—detailed representations of the Norwegian peasantry, produced as truthfully and as close to nature as possible. Sundt-Hansen’s color palette was usually that of cool gray-brown or gray-blue tones, without strong local tints. His brushstrokes were so finely applied that they can hardly be distinguished from each other. He preferred figurative motifs, including farmers and milkmaids, often depicting only a single person in solitary contemplation or two to three people busily conducting everyday tasks. Where the people are painted outdoors, timber walls and crests of hills often block the view so that nature appears like a closed-off room. During a three-year stay in Paris, Sundt-Hansen turned his attention to the extremely precise and detailed historical genre paintings of Paul Delaroche (1797–1856) and Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815–1891). Sundt-Hansen began perfecting his own technique in the same direction. Simultaneously, he focused more on the psychological aspects of humanity, fully taking to heart French realism and its demand for veracity and honesty in the reproduction of motifs. This left the artist feeling unsatisfied painting Norwegian folk motifs while based in Paris and moved to Kristiania (Oslo) in 1869. He intended to settle down there, but the art scene in Norway felt too small and he again relocated in 1871, this time to Stockholm in neighboring Sweden. Sundt-Hansen executed some of his best work in Stockholm, focusing on depicting people in emotional conflicts and situations where they are confronted with powerlessness in the face of fate. Intimate and unobtrusive, yet psychologically profound, Sundt-Hansen depicted anxiety and guilt, remorse and atonement, as well as mourning and death, with almost photographic realism. In keeping with the Düsseldorf School, the subjects were often moralizing, but never socially critical. The motifs were still almost without exception obtained from the Norwegian peasantry. After Tidemand, Sundt-Hansen became the last significant representative of the tradition in Norway while remaining linked to contemporary realism. Sundt-Hansen’s realism, however, was of a different character than the one who aimed to capture the play of sunlight or atmospheric effects using fast, wide brushstrokes. He instead continued to work in a nearly photographic fashion until his death in 1907. GIRL FROM SETESDAL | 1874 43