The Easel

Archives: The New Yorker

20th July 2021

Have you heard of Nikolai Astrup?

Astrup is apparently more popular in his native Norway than Munch! He painted Nordic landscapes with lashings of colour, “generalized forms” with details on top. What elevates his work is its intensity and drama, something the writer ascribes to Astrup’s self-doubt. Astrup’s hometown popularity is thus not due to “sentimental nationalism”. And his obscurity elsewhere is testimony to an artist caught in the “obscure eddies of the art-historical mainstream”.