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Mountain landscape, Nikolai Astrup - Description of the Painting

Mountain landscape - Nikolai Astrup

“There can be nothing more beautiful than the nature of the native land” - this is main motto of Nikolai Astrup. He used to travel a lot and saw the world; however, for him nothing could replace the picturesque of the Norwegian fields, forests, and fjords.

In his works one will hardly observe any images of metropolitan squares, portraits of kings or avant-garde motifs, so fashionable at those times. He was an independent artist, who managed to develop his own art style. Astrup was a quiet and isolated man, and this was manifested in his lifestyle and creativity.

The picture titled the "Mountain Landscape" shows a fertile valley. The reason why Nikolai Astrup chose this landscape, was that it represented the most typical Norwegian landscape, including the highlands, plains cut by rivers and streams, dense forests, and swamps. The mountain peaks covered with the snow, sharply contrast with the flowering fields and dense greenery.

He was a genuine master of color and used such contrasts of warm and cold tones. The combination of motley colors was typical for the expressionism, and the author is often attributed to this direction, however, standing out among all other representatives. He avoided impulsiveness and heated emotions, preferring calmness and romanticism, which is the mood with which all his works were created.

One can notice the Northern European flavor, looking at the small houses that are densely placed right in the center of the plot. They are all built in the traditional Scandinavian style, with the large logs used for construction, and the roofs are fully covered with moss for warmth. Almost all of them look the same and they are not separated by any fences.

This is quite a small detail, but it clearly demonstrated that the locals live in harmony with each other, with no need for separating from their neighbors. The simplicity of the estates is very typical for Norwegians, who are traditionally not used to excesses and rather prefer minimalism.
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