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Christian Krohg

Sick girl

Sick girl

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About the original: Albertine in the police doctor's waiting room attracted a lot of interest because it touched on several controversial topics at the same time. On the one hand, it was about prostitution, which was an illegal but still publicly tolerated activity in Kristiania at the time. On the other side, it was about freedom of expression, as Krohg had been refused to express his opinions through his novel Albertine, which had been seized by the Ministry of Justice.

The painting was also a realistic depiction of society's shadow side and revealed the degrading treatment of women in the prostitution environment. Krohg wanted to provoke and start a debate about social problems, and the painting was an effective tool to reach a wide audience and shine a spotlight on these problems.

The realistic style and the use of real models for Albertine and other figures in the painting also helped to make the work more provocative and realistic. Krohg's painting was proof that art could be more than beauty and aesthetics; it could also be a powerful tool for expressing truth and starting a debate on important social issues.

Date: (1881)

Other titles: Sick Girl (ENG)

Designation: Painting

Material and technique: Oil on wooden panel

Technique: Oil

Material: Wood

Dimensions: H 102 cm x W 58 cm x D 3 cm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Acquisition: Gift from Olaf Schou 1909

Inventory no.: NG.M.00805

Part of exhibition: Art 3. Works from the collection 1814-1950, 2007 - 2011

The dance of life. The collection from antiquity to 1950, 2011 - 2019

The 1880s in Nordic painting, 1985 - 1986

Christian Krohg. Images that grip, 2012

The 1880s in Nordic painting, 1986

Edvard Munch. The sick child. The Story of a Masterpiece, 2009

The 1880s in Nordic painting, 1986

The 1880s in Nordic painting, 1985

Nordic Art. The Modern Breakthrough 1860-1920, 2012 - 2013

Registration level: Single object

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

Photo: Lathion, Jacques

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Christian Krohg

Christian Krohg was committed to justice and freedom of expression, and was one of the great Norwegian realist painters. He painted the working class in Kristiania in the 19th century with compassion and a desire for change. He had to follow in his father's footsteps and become a lawyer, but wanted to be an artist. After his law studies in Kristiania, he traveled to the art academy in Karlsruhe to receive an art education. While many of the Norwegian art students traveled to Munich for further studies, Krohg followed his teacher Gussow to Berlin. The stay in the big city awakened Krohg's social commitment, which he retained for the rest of his life. Krohg was also influenced by Skagen, a small village in Denmark that attracted many artists. While most of the artists painted the landscape and the light, Krohg chose to paint the people who lived there and their simple lives. He became particularly close to the Gaihede family and painted many motifs depicting their everyday life. Krohg returned to Skagen on several occasions. Among Krohg's earliest socially engaged motifs were depictions of the sypik who had fallen asleep while working. He also painted several scenes from Albertine's life, based on stories he had heard and people he had met. In the early 1880s, a group of young artists, writers and intellectuals gathered in cafes in the capital, Kristiania. They were in rebellion against the prevailing social structure and discussed moral issues, sex, drugs and free love. Krohg and Hans Jæger were leaders in the "Kristiania bohemian", and they were active in the press and wrote poems and novels. They also started the newspaper Impressionisten. Krohg later married Oda Engelhart, who was part of this circle. Krohg had a large production and a wide-ranging selection of motifs. He was particularly known for his portraits, and his ability to characterize meant that he received many portrait commissions. From 1901 to 1909, Krohg lived mainly in Paris, where he taught at the Académie Colarossi. Here he was influenced by new currents, and his precise and realistic style changed to more dissolved forms and loose brushstrokes. The artist model also became more central to his work. When Norway's first art academy opened in 1909, Krohg became its first director and professor, a position he held until his death in 1925.