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Listasafn Reykjavíkur / Reykjavik Art Museum

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Decade

Kristín Jónsdóttir

Við Laufásveg

Year
1938-39
Height
96 cm
Width
122 cm
Category
Málverk
Sub-category
Olíumálverk

A considerable number of paintings exist depicting Reykjavík, painted by Icelandic painters in the 1930s, which was a period of village and urban scenes in Icelandic art. Kristín Jónsdóttir does not often portray Reykjavík in her paintings – and her Reykjavík works are not in the tradition of documentation or narrative as seen in the work of some artists from this period. Instead the townscape leads her to contemplate light, form and the impalpable boundary between the natural and the man-made. This piece is painted in Kristín's studio at Laufásvegur 69, depicting the view to the south: Öskjuhlíð hill at the far left, and Mt. Helgafell and the Bláfjöll mountains in the distance. Aðalsteinn Ingólfsson writes in his book Kristín Jónsdóttir: Listakona í gróandanum: “Her paintings [depict] urban expansion, the confrontation of the urban and the wilderness, and the losing battle of the wild. In these paintings, the documentation of the growth and prosperity of the city is of course not the main point, but rather the qualities of the light which softens or sharpens all of the details of the motif” (p.152). It is safe to say that few works of Icelandic painters describe “the melancholy ambiance which accompanies the sunset on an ice-cold winter's day, better than precisely On Laufásvegur by Kristín.”

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