My eldest son and his family are in the middle of leaving Norway after five wonderful years. Today their house contents will be packed and then travel on to France. They will fly to their new home in Paris after a holiday in a log cabin on a Norwegian island.
I did this post and one that will follow after our last visit to them in early January, both have been languishing in drafts.
A visit to the Museum of Fine Arts in Stavanger gave us an interesting visit for several reasons. The domed atrium conservatory entrance is a meeting point with a small cafe and a shop selling Nordic arts and crafts. We had just commenced our visit to the art gallery when one of the curators called us back into the atrium to listen to some music. Four young women were singing a new piece of Norwegian music without any instrumental backing. It is difficult to describe how haunting the singing echoing around the dome was. As they sang they slowly moved around, sometimes close together, at other times in the far corners from one another and creating an 'other worldly' melodic humming throughout the space. Our 16 year old granddaughter was enthralled, she has a lovely singing voice herself, and regularly sings in and around the Stavanger area - she was awarded a Saturday scholarship by Stavanger university to receive singing tuition in their music department, which she will now have to relinquish with their move.
Kitty Kielland sketch by Olav Rusti
The art gallery introduced me to the work of Kitty Kielland (1843 - 1914) a Norwegian landscape painter. Kitty was born to an affluent family in Stavanger, and was the older sister of Alexander Kielland, also an artist. Although she received some training in drawing and painting, it was not until she turned thirty that she was allowed to train as a professional artist. She travelled to Karlsruhe where she was trained by Hans Gude, but as a women she was forced to take private lessons from Gude instead of being able to join his landscape painting class. She made rapid progress during the two years she spent training under his guidance. His adherence to realism left a lasting impression on Kitty that was visible in her later works. After the two years she departed for Munich where she joined a colony of Norwegian artists. In Munich she studied with Hermann Baisch, and Norwegian Eilif Peterssen whom she considered to be her most important teacher.
She spent 10 years living in Paris and this painting is from that period. Bretton women washing clothes and hanging them on the rocks to dry
Blossom tree in Cernay-la-Ville
Painter in the landscape at Cernay-la-Ville
Peat Bogs on Jæren 1882
Blått interiør (1883)
Effer solnedgang 1885
This painting above is in Stavanger art gallery
all images via wikipedia
all images via wikipedia
This is my favourite painting - which seems fitting on this occasion as it shows Paris by a Norwegian artist.
As we left the art gallery my eye was attracted to the nordic gift shop, and there I saw several Flensted mobiles. You may be familiar with them.
In 1953, Christian Flensted from Denmark, created a stork mobile to celebrate the birth of his daughter. This first design was a great success and it now flies all over the world. In 1956 he gave up his job to devote his entire efforts to the fledgling mobile business. You can now buy mobiles for every occasion from festive Christmas trees to butterflies for the nursery. However, the ones I like the most are the abstract designs. The one I chose was a display item only, but they kindly let me purchase it for half price.