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John Savio

The driving rein

The driving rein

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About the original:

Date: Between 1928 and 1938

Other titles: The Driving Reindeer (ENG)

Heargi (SAM)

Designation: Graphics

Material and technique: Woodcut on paper

Technique: Woodcut

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 208 x 331 mm

Height: 249 mm

Width: 369 mm

Circulation: 100

Subject words:

Visual arts


532 - Visual arts

Acquisition: Purchased 2006

Inventory no.: NMK.2006.0102

Part of exhibition: John Savio. Drawings and graphics from the collection, 2009

Registration level: Single object

Owner and collection: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Visual Art Collections

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John Savio

John Andreas Savio was a Norwegian artist who was born in 1902 and died in 1938. He is best known for his woodcuts that thematize Sami culture and way of life, as well as landscapes and folk life in northern Norway. Savio had little formal art education, but was associated with the Norwegian School of Handicrafts and Art Industry for a period. He was inspired by artists such as Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and Gustav Vigeland, as well as woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer, Felix Vallotton and Japanese artists. Savio experimented with woodcuts and created approximately 150 different motifs during his short life. His most famous motif is Reindeer Calves, which, with its stylized and clear representation of running reindeer calves in a rhythmic pattern, has become a symbol of Finnmarksvidda's culture. Savio also depicted folk life and the close contact between people and animals in several of his motifs. He used a simple but varied carving style with an emphasis on the contrast between black and white, and printed the woodcuts in black and white. Some of his motifs were also hand-coloured. Savio debuted with a solo exhibition in Tromsø in 1930 and had exhibitions abroad, including an exhibition in Paris in 1936. After his death, memorial exhibitions about him were held in Oslo. Today, Savio's powerful woodcuts are well known and sought after as collectors' items. His artistry testifies to his connection to Northern Norway and his portrayal of Sami culture and way of life.