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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Bleikdalsá

Year
1967
Height
100 cm
Width
152 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

Kjarval painted this piece by the Bleikdalsá (Blikdalsá) river on the Kjalarnes peninsula in southwest Iceland in 1967. People were astounded that he was still, in his eighties, standing at his easel outside in nature and painting. His health was deteriorating but, true to his convictions, in the summer of 1966 he started to bathe in Bleikdalsá for the sake of his health. This also led to the river and its surroundings becoming his subject for a new series, which was also to be his last. Kjarval had painted by Bleikdalsá before, but at that time he had perceived the environment differently. A white stone on the riverbank forms the focus of this piece. The surroundings of the river have disappeared, but the colourfulness of the riverbank and the shimmering light on its surface captivate his attention. This piece is one of the last he was able to paint out in nature. After devoting his life to the interpretation of the seasonal nuances of light and colour in the formal structures of Icelandic nature, even in his eighties nature inspires him to conquer new ground. Although his hands were starting to tremble, his vision was still fresh and new.

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