Art History with Anne

March 2022

The Spirit of the North:

Modern Painting comes to Scandinavia

A series of lectures for Spring

After many years of planning and construction the new Munchmuseet opened in Oslo last October.  Placed right on the water, near to the magnificent Opera house, clearly the new museum hopes to attract cruise passengers.  Given the demanding character of most of Munch’s art one can imagine a ‘G&T’ will help to lighten the mood upon returning to the ship. Nevertheless, if you wish to understand the Nordic spirit you will have to grapple with both the paintings of Munch and the plays of Henrik Ibsen. I wholehearted embarked on my Nordic learning curve when I was asked to lecture on board Swan Hellenic’s Minerva.  I have now sailed around the Baltic several times discovering the wonderful collections of art in Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.  I have also discovered that there are many more artists, alongside Munch, who revolutionized Scandinavian painting at the turn of the 20th century. With this I mind I will be offering a series of three interconnected lectures on Modern art coming to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

The Scream

Modern Art comes to Sweden: Anders Zorn and his Circle

Anders Zorn’s (1860-1920) bravado portraits in the grand manner have led to comparisons with the American superstar John Singer Sargent. Acclaimed internationally, Zorn was Sweden’s most famous artist at the turn of the century. While he made his name with scenes of modern life, from peasants in the fields to the bustle of city life, he made his fortune painting portraits of the great and the good. He took America by storm in the 1890s painting President William Taft and ‘grand dame’ Isabella Stewart Gardner.  Travelling the world, spending several years in Paris, Zorn finally returned to his native land to create Zorngården, Mora, Dalarna.  Zorn’s studio-house draws on the Arts and Crafts spirit and folk-art traditions of the area.  Fearing the loss of these traditions Zorn created Gammelgården in the southern part of Mora, a collection of around 40 timber houses that he bought and moved to make sure that the old art of building such houses would not be forgotten. Compared to a comet that quickly burnt out, his repute was eclipsed by the rise of Modernism. But like Sorolla and Krøyer his reputation has been revived in the 21st century.

Anders Zorn
Andera Zorn

Modern Art Comes to Denmark: Peder Krøyer and the Skagen group

The calm serenity of Peder Krøyer’s Summer Evening on Skagen’s Southern Beach, reproductions of which are said to hang on many Danish walls, captures the ‘blue hour’ of a midsummer night when the water and sky seem to optically merge.  From 1882 Krøyer (1851-1909) spent most of his summers painting at Skagen, then a remote fishing village on the northern tip of Jutland, Denmark. Artists were drawn to Skagen by the special local light, the vast sandy beaches, and the life of the local fishermen. The international artists’ colony that developed at Skagen has been likened to our Newlyn School.  Members of the group include fellow Danes Anna and Michael Anchor,  Oscar Björck and Johan Krouthen from Sweden and Christian Krogh and Eilif Peterssen from Norway. Gathering  regularly at the Brondums Inn, they often painted scenes of their own social gatherings, playing cards, celebrating a special event or simply eating a meal together. Krøyer finally settled in Skagen after marrying artist Marie Triepcke in 1889. Cushioned by the patronage of tobacco manufacturerHeinrich Hirschsprung, Krøyer was able totravel extensively, visiting art galleries, meeting artists, and developing his skills. In Paris, studying under Leon Bonnat, he was influenced by the French Impressionists and adopted ‘en plein air’, painting directly from nature out of doors.  His naturalism brought a breath of fresh air to Demark.

Peder Kroyer
Peder Kroyer

Modern Art comes to Norway: Munch and his Circle.

No one captured the angst of the era more effectively than Edvard Munch (1863-1944); imitated, copied, and parodied, his iconic Scream (1893) is as famed as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Munch was profoundly influenced by the playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). In his plays A Doll’s House, Ghosts andHedda Gabler, Ibsen exposed double standards, revealing the truths that lay behind the façade of respectable domesticity. Ibsen deals, like Munch, with complex human relations. Munch wrote in a letter of 1908, “I am reading Ibsen again and I read him as me [myself].” Ghosts became Munch’s own drama. He saw the tragedy of the painter Osvald Alving, lusting for life yet unable to work, standing under the curse of heredity illness and madness, and feeling condemned to ruin, as a self-portrait. Nevertheless, Munch confessed “My fear of life is necessary to me… Without anxiety and illness, I am a ship without a rudder…. My sufferings are part of myself and my art.” Due to censorship and hostility Munch spent much of his life outside Norway. He moved in avant-garde circles in Paris and Berlin with Fritz Thaulow, Christian Krohg and Swedish dramatist August Strindberg among his friends.

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch

How to book

Or you can pay directly through Paypal for each one hour lecture

One lecture

Anders Zorn and his Circle

£7.00

One lecture

Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group

£7.00

One lecture

Edvard Munch and his Circle

£7.00

All three lectures

Anders Zorn and his Circle

Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group

Edvard Munch and his Circle

Three lectures

Anders Zorn and his Circle Peder Kroyer and the Skagen Group Edvard Munch and his Circle

£20.00

One thought on “Art History with Anne

  1. I am so sorry to have missed yesterday’s lecture on Munch and his circle; I was being discharged from hospital after my knee surgery. I look forward to catching up with the lecture on your YouTube channel. I am wondering if you dropped a hint about the next series of talks-am looking forward to them. Sonia

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

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