Sunday, May 13, 2012

Artist of the Month; Theodor Kittelsen

Theodor Kittelsen was a Norwegian illustrator/artist of the Victorian period whose work remains popular in Scandinvia. Similar in many ways to John Bauer, Kittelsen channelled the Nordic environment into his work, incoporating myths and folk tales to produce visually arresting images whose abstract qualities enhance their narrative topics.

Kittelsen doesn't quite appeal to me in the same way Bauer does. There is some element of technical ability which Bauer had that Kittelsen appears to have lacked and in many ways Kittelsen's paintings are more simplistic in their execution though both artists appear to have been heavily influenced by Scandinavia's grandeur and mystery and this is where they both succeeded. Looking at Kittelsens work, its probably easy to imagine the gaunt silence of a Scandinvian forest at midnight, or the grandeur of a fjord, even if you've never seen one in real life. If you have, then you know exactly what he was trying to portray, because you've tasted the air and felt the chill on your face.

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