L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i



Sunday, November 3, 2019

When the bright clouds descend - selected paintings of Lars Hertervig


1865.

Lars Hertervig (16 February 1830, Borgøy – 6 January 1902, Stavanger), Norwegian painter, his later, semi-fantastical work, based on views of the coastal landscape of Southwest Norway, is regarded as among the most significant in the history of Norwegian painting.

Detail of the above. (Two images.)

The son of a poor Quaker farmer, he was born on the island of Borgøy in Tysvær on the southwest coast of Norway, though his family soon moved to Stavanger. He demonstrated artistic talent at an early age and, thanks to the generosity of wealthy citizens who recognized his ability, he was given the opportunity to study both in the capital and abroad. From 1850 he studied at the Royal Drawing School in Christiania (now Oslo). And two years later, at the age of twenty-two, he traveled to Düsseldorf, where he studied at the Arts Academy, receiving private lessons from the Norwegian romanticist painter Hans Gude; he developed quickly as a landscape painter, his work typical of the Düsseldorf school. 

1850.
1853.
1854.
1855.

After little more than a year in Düsseldorf, though, he experienced a mental breakdown. He became abnormally suspicious of colleagues and began to experience hallucinations. By the following year his health had deteriorated so much that he was forced to return to Norway where, two years later, he was voluntarily committed to Gaustad psychiatric asylum on the outskirts of Christiania. He was very unhappy there, though, and it seems the institution didn't have an appropriate treatment plan, and so he was sent home in the spring of 1858.

1855.
1856.
1856.
1856.

In the meantime, the financial support of his wealthy patrons ceased and he was now forced to depend on the welfare of others. He eventually moved back to his birthplace, the island of Borgøy, where he lived with his uncle up until 1865. For the next two years, though, he somehow had the means to acquire oil paints and relatively large canvases; most of his best known work was produced during this brief period.

1865.
1865.
1866.
1866.
1866.
1867.
1867.

There is very little information about his life from the end of the 1860s until his death. However, it's known that he spent his last years in Stavanger and that his financial situation became increasingly more difficult. Even though it appears there were many who offered assistance, he was determined to manage on his own and refused their help. Aside from painting, he worked odd jobs, decorated furniture, and exchanged images for everyday goods. As he no longer could afford oil paints and canvas, from 1867 until his death he only produced work in watercolor and gouache, using paper never meant for painting: tobacco paper, wrapping paper, sometimes using scraps - wallpaper, newspaper, packing material - glued together with homemade rye flour paste; for some of these, he incorporated the obvious seams between the various materials as part of the composition.

1902.

He died a few weeks short of his seventy-second birthday. His artistic breakthrough was posthumous, coming at the 1914 Jubilee Exhibition in Christiania, twelve years after his death. More recently, there have been a documentary film, a novel and its sequel, and two operas written about his life.

1867. (Detail of above.)

*

Self-portrait. ND.



No comments:

Post a Comment