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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Skjaldmey

Year
1961
Height
102 cm
Width
152 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

In the late 1950s the beings in Kjarval's fantasies assume a new shape: slender, long-necked, small-headed beings appear, with elongated ligulate limbs. He developed this kind of being in his preparation for the oil painting Shieldmaiden/Valkyrie, which he completed in 1961; he drew and painted a number of sketches which provide insight into his methods. The piece depicts the maiden, symbol of the mountain, floating in front of Mt. Skjaldbreiður (literally Broadshield) with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Her body is feminine and slim, with long, pliable limbs which billow and undulate. The outlines of the body, the sword and the shield are double, making the creature mobile and restless, while the atmosphere around her heaves with life and activity.

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