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Return from the fields, Hans Dahl - Description of the Painting



Return from the fields - Hans Dahl


The pictures of the present Norwegian-Swedish master traditionally depict the significantly idealized and embellished everyday life of the rural people and workers of the country; however, their artistic and aesthetic merits are beyond any doubt.

This picture, devoted to the villagers of one mountainous country, shows a young girl dressed in beautiful national clothes on her way back from work through an amazingly picturesque place. She carries a big wide wooden rake to collect grass in it. This is implied by a long blade of grass, which got stuck to the rake. One can easily understand that the young girl was involved in the haymaking, and she collected the cut grass with a rake to dry it.

She slung her tool over one shoulder, making the long rake a bit easier to carry. In her other hand there is a small wooden barrel with a handle. Most probably, she took some water for herself in it.

The girl's clothing is quite simple, but very bright and so picturesque. Although she worked hard physically, the young village girl is still dressed very neatly and beautifully. She is barefoot but has a clean white shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a dark brown wide skirt with a red hem just below the knee, with the length preventing it from interfering with her work, as well as a smart bright red corsage featuring a spectacular black insert and decorated with the multi-colored embroidery.

Blushed because of working on the fresh air, making her young face even more beautiful and attractive, this slender fair-haired daughter of the North looks so gentle and sweet, as if she was returning from a pleasant promenade and not from work.

The nature that surrounds the girl strikes with its beauty. The master succeeded in conveying the whole the depth of the space – one would clearly feel the fresh and clean air of the mountains. The cool bluish tones of the distant mountain peaks sinking in a haze and covered with snow even in the warm season, emphasize the real riot of colors that can be observed in the foreground of the painting.

The nature depicted on this work is typical for the northern countries including the sparse vegetation diligently clinging to the nearly bare rocks with its roots. However, the master showed the mass flowering of grasses, with their tones shimmering with all the richness of golden, green, and brown, making the whole picture look both expressive and impressive. In turn, the cold and light waters of the fjord seen in the distance just emphasize that we are looking at the northern expanses.

The present painting shall be treated as a hymn to love for one's homeland, perfectly captured in colors and feelings.
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