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When it comes to Norwegian painting, most of us will remember Edvard Munch (1863-1944)—the man behind the iconic Scream. Some time back I discovered Nikolai Astrup, another renowned and beloved artist of the country. He distinguished himself as a painter and printer and is, above all, known for his wild and lush landscapes and depictions of traditional life in Vestlandet (western Norway). Like J.C. Dahl nearly one hundred years earlier, Astrup helped shape the way we view Vestlandet and, in fact, the whole country.
Nikolai Astrup was born in Bremanger, Nordfjord in 1880. His family moved shortly thereafter to Ålhus in Jølster, where his father was a priest. His relationship with his father was marked at times by opposition and conflict, most likely because Nikolai could not quite accept the strict form of Christianity practiced at home. In addition, his wish to…
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