|Marsh Marigold Night, c 1915|
I'm sure I wasn't the only one who had never heard of Nikolai Astrup; there isn't a single one of his paintings in any British collection, and most remain in Norway. But this exhibition - the first outside his homeland - was a complete delight. (Just one day left if you want to catch it. Sorry.)
Astrup was the sickly son of the Lutheran minister of Ålhus on the shore of a lake in remote western Norway and he grew up in the cold, damp, wooden parsonage looking out over this landscape; the window of his bedroom, where he was often confined to his bed,overlooked the graveyard where three of his siblings were buried in one week ... and yes, I thought of the Brontes, too.
The parsonage was condemned and partly demolished in 1907, but one wing remains today; it's now on my list of places I'd love to visit.
Marsh marigolds grew on the floor of the valley, beautiful, but a sign of poverty and agricultural neglect. By 1918, the marsh marigolds had gone.
So many of Astrup's paintings look as if it's only just stopped raining.
|March Atmosphere at Jølstravatnet (before 1908)|
On the way home, I picked a big bunch of cow parsley, horse chestnut flowers and may blossom and dropped pollen all over the Tube carriage. I have jugs of lacy white flowers all over the house.