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Erik Werenskiold

Then they both laughed heartily

Then they both laughed heartily

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About the original:

There is no doubt about the cozy atmosphere between the princess and the troll, where they sit inside the mountain and laugh at the suitor whom she has put to the test.

"'Now a new suitor has arrived who wants me, my friend,' said the king's daughter. 'He is young and beautiful; but I don't want anyone else but you', she said, making herself attractive to the mountain troll. 'Then I put him to the test, and there is the scissors he was supposed to hide and look after, look after it now!' she said. Then they both laughed heartily…”

Together with the content, the style contributes to a condensed atmosphere in the small drawing. The fairy tale drawings were made in the same size as they were to be printed in. They were transferred to xylography (wooden engraving) for reproduction in a book, and Erik Werenskiold has taken this into account in the line drawing. The varied shading gives life to the figures, and the contrast between light and shadow reinforces the contradictions in the motif.

In 1878, Werenskiold was commissioned by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen to illustrate some of the folk tales. In addition to being one of Norwegian art history's foremost draftsmen, Werenskiold, together with Theodor Kittelsen, has contributed to visualizing the notions of fairy-tale figures so that they have gained a strong position in Norwegian cultural history.

The museum's collection is rich in fairy tale drawings. For "Følgesvennen" there are eight drawings, including three preliminary works, in the collection. This drawing was purchased in 1888.

Text: Møyfrid Tveit

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", The National Museum 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-084-2

Date: 1886

Other titles: Then they both laughed heartily (ENG)

Designation: Drawing

Material and technique: Pen on paper

Technique: Pen

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 99 x 86 mm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Motif type: Fairy tales and legends

Acquisition: Purchased 1888

Inventory no.: NG.K&H.B.05137

Part of exhibition: Erik Werenskiold (1855-1938), 2011

Registration level: Single object

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

Photo: Ivarsøy, Dag Andre

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Erik Werenskiold

Erik Werenskiold was a Norwegian painter and draftsman known for his naturalistic and nationally oriented paintings of folk life in the 1880s. He is also known for the illustrations for Norwegian folk tales by Asbjørnsen and Moe and for Snorre's royal sagas. In 1905 he changed his style to a formally simplified and decorative style inspired by Paul Cézanne. Werenskiold was born in Eidskog and grew up in Kongsvinger.

He first studied under Julius Middelthun at the Art School in 1873 and later under Wilhelm Lindenschmit in Munich from 1876 to 1877. Werenskiold became convinced of the superiority of French plein air painting after seeing an exhibition by Charles François Daubigny in Munich in 1879. This led to the colors i Werenskiold's pictures became brighter, and he began to move towards naturalism. Werenskiold traveled to Paris in 1881 to study French naturalistic art more closely and traveled there annually until 1885. Werenskiold spent time in Norway, especially in Telemark, when he was not in Paris. It was here that he created his modern, realistic paintings of folk life and depicted children and people in the open air.

He was seen as an innovator of national painting through his depictions of Norwegian folk types and nature in Telemark. Werenskiold was also a skilled portrait painter and painted many characteristic portraits of famous Norwegians, including Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Edvard Grieg and Henrik Ibsen. Werenskiold was one of the most significant Norwegian artists of his time and has had a great influence on Norwegian art.