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Christian Skredsvig

Vinje as a shepherd boy

Vinje as a shepherd boy

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About the original:

Vinje as a shepherd boy was created during a study trip to Vinje in Telemark in 1887, and the title refers to the national poet and linguist Aasmund Olavsson Vinje (1818–1870). He was one of the Norwegian writers with whom Skredsvig felt the greatest kinship. Vinje grew up on the small farm Plassen in Vinje and was a shepherd boy in his childhood. In the picture, the young Vinje stands with his jacket over his shoulder and looks out over the landscape with a thoughtful expression. We witness how he guards the animals with great naturalness, while at the same time the look shows that the boy is a thoughtful person.

The painting is characterized formally by Skredsvig's typical subdued and mood-creating light. It is not sunlight, but a hazy dusk or dawn over the landscape. The colors that dominate are muted green and orange. The motif has a modern cut. Both the boy and one cow are drawn right to the edge of the picture. The landscape is also cut obliquely, which increases the tension in the composition. We see how steep the slope is, and understand that the shepherd boy must have a demanding task of looking after the animals.

Text: Hilde Areng Skaara

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

Date: 1887

Other titles: The Poet Vinje as a Shepherd Boy (ENG)

Designation: Painting

Material and technique: Oil on canvas

Technique: Oil

Material: Canvas

Dimensions: 99.5 x 151 x 3.4 cm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Subject type: Portrait, Landscape

Acquisition: Purchased 1985

Inventory no.: NG.M.03642

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

Then Dahl and Munch. Romanticism, realism and symbolism in Norwegian landscape painting, 2001 - 2002

The magical north. Finnish and Norwegian art around 1900, 2015

Registration level: Single object

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

Photo: Høstland, Børre

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Christian Skredsvig

Christian Skredsvig was a Norwegian painter and writer born at Modum in Buskerud. He started at Johan Fredrik Eckersberg's painting school when he was only fifteen years old. After school he traveled to Copenhagen and became a pupil of the landscape painter Vilhelm Kyhn from 1870 to 1874.

Kyhn also helped him get a free place at the art academy. Skredsvig also lived in Paris for several years, where he was a pupil of Léon Bonnat and Heinrich von Zügel. Based in Paris, he also traveled to Italy, Spain and Corsica. Skredsvig exhibited for the first time at the industrial exhibition in Drammen in 1873, and in 1881 he won the prestigious gold medal at the Salon in Paris for a French farm motif, Ferme à Venoix (1881). This plein air painting was his international breakthrough.

His first solo exhibition was in Fritzner's Pavilion in Kristiania in 1886. The mood painting Seljefløyten (1889) is one of his best-known works. Skredsvig's artistic expression went from realism to neo-romanticism, and he was one of the pioneers in the development of plein air painting and mood painting in Norway in the 1880s. He used various techniques, including naturalistic animal and landscape painting, portraiture, religious and folk motifs. Skredsvig was also a popular writer in his time, with publications such as the semi-autobiographical story about the miller's son Even Strand, published from 1912 to 1916. Skredsvig moved back to Norway in 1885 and settled on the farm Fleskum in Bærum, where he painted distinctive Norwegian landscapes and collected inspiration from various art forms and folk traditions.