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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Jóhannes S. Kjarval

Frönsk skógarmynd

Year
1928
Height
90 cm
Width
105 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

After his studies in Denmark Kjarval spent some time in Italy, but after his return to Iceland in 1922 he only once went abroad for an extended period of time, in 1928, when he stayed in Paris for six months. Kjarval sought to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, and travelled to the forests outside Paris to paint. His woodland pictures from France display influence from the Impressionists, and attempts to capture the ever-changing nuances of colour and light which create the ambiance of each moment. With a combination of the soft texture of the oil colours, reminiscent of pastels, and fine brushwork he achieves an extraordinary lightness in his depiction of the coming of spring in the forest. The brushstrokes are short and rapid, the contrasting colours creating light and shadow, the colour is applied lightly to the canvas which can be seen in places through the thin layer of paint. These pieces emanate the fascination with nature of the artist, who willingly submits to the thrill of the coming of spring. During the six years that Kjarval had lived in Iceland after his studies, he had been in a process of searching in his interpretation of landscapes, and had in fact not prioritised landscape, as other projects dominated his time and interest. After his excursion to France the outside landscape in Icelandic nature became one of his main subjects.

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