Ludvig KarstenLudvig Karsten was a Norwegian painter. Karsten developed his distinctive style under the decisive influence of Edvard Munch, whom he met in Åsgårdstrand for the first time in 1901, but also received important impulses from the French Late Impressionists and from Henri Matisse.
Karsten was the brother of, among others, Heinrich Joachim S. Karsten and Marie Karsten. Karsten was a student at the Norwegian School of Craft and Art Industry in 1891–95, studied in Rome in 1895–96, interrupted by a short stay in Munich, and stayed in Spain in 1897. After a stay at home, in 1899–1900 he studied again in Munich and the following year traveled to Paris, where he became a pupil of, among others, Eugène Carrière. From 1910 he mostly lived in Copenhagen, and from 1920 he often painted in the summers on Skagen.
His painterly treatment is broadly suggestive with often random composition and summary form, but with a suggestive ability to highlight the essential and characteristic of the subject; stroked nervously expressively, the color now flickering, now luminous and glowing with a penchant for contrasting, expressive juxtapositions, for example, of sonorous red and ice green tones. As a colourist, Karsten is one of our country's most important.
His most important works include The Siblings in Bergen Museum and The Beggars (both 1901), The Light and Dark Act in the National Museum, Stockholm, and the huge composition Golgatha (1924) in the Statens museum for art in Copenhagen. Among other things, the National Museum owns major works such as Tæring (1907), The Blue Kitchen and The Red Kitchen (both 1913), Self-Portrait and In Front of the Mirror (both 1914), as well as two of his highly personal copies or rather color paraphrases of older art, Jusepe de Ribera's Burial (1906) and Jacopo Bassano's Flight into Egypt (1922). He also copied Rembrandt's Bathsheba (1910) and Antoine Watteau's Gilles (1926). As a portrait painter, he, like Munch, preferred the full-sized figure, but without its intrusive psychological interpretation.