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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Ágústnótt á Þingvöllum

Year
1935
Height
67 cm
Width
147 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

In 1929, Kjarval decided to focus his efforts on spending time outside in nature and painting landscapes. At the time he chose Þingvellir, the iconic and beautiful site of Iceland’s ancient parliament, as the starting point for the new landscape painting.He often travelled along the south shore of Lake Þingvallavatn, alongside the Hestgjá gorge; from there he would paint the view to the north. In this area he painted an extensive series depicting Mts. Ármannsfell and Skjaldbreið with cliffs or the volcanic rocks of Hestgjá in the foreground. The pieces in this series differ in style and appearance, the brushwork varies from piece to piece, but the main difference between this series and its predecessors is that the foreground is given greater weight. In the multitude of pieces Kjarval painted of this motif he either emphasised the foreground, depicting lava and vegetation, or maintained a balance between foreground and background, as he did in the piece August Night at Þingvellir in which the pale gleam of the midnight sun softens the outlines of the mountains to create a mystical ambiance.

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