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Sheaves of Wheat in the Moonlight, Theodor Kittelsen - Description of the Painting



Sheaves of Wheat in the Moonlight - Theodor Kittelsen. Paper, pencil, watercolor. 36 x 51.3 cm


Norwegians believe that fabulous creatures do live side by side with us. There are so many breathtaking and magical stories about encounters with them, which can be heard in Scandinavia.

Theodor Kittelsen's amazing talent to see the unusual in the ordinary things allows us to feel the fragileness and blurriness of the line between actuality and magic.

A quiet northern landscape out there, familiar to everyone. The plot is simple. Soft tones used: the dull gray-green color of the forest, the pastel green of rare bushes, and the faded yellowish hues of the mowed field and harvested wheat. It is only the bright orange spot of the setting moon that stands out against the gray predawn sky. Not a single animal or bird in the vicinity. Silence. Everyone is asleep.

Should you have a closer look at the picture, you will start crawling. The ghostly moonlight is very deceptive. Mysteriously, sheaves of wheat make a company to the gawky furry trolls.

The huge figures, overgrown with long fur from their top to toe, quietly pad through the stubble. Tangled strands of wool make them look like big bales of hay. They are hunched, with lowered paws, not looking frightful and dreadful at all. One of them stopped, straightening its back and raising its shaggy head. Its huge nose is moving quietly, inhaling the smells of the wet autumn earth. Little eyes stare into the distance. What is he thinking about as he looks up at the sky?

Morning is coming. But with the first sunrays, the trolls are destined to turn into stones. That is why they walk measuredly and unhurriedly to hide under the crowns of trees. They are turning into white blurry spots, which disappear in the forest. Noiselessness and peace are spread around. But there remains a feeling of unexplainable sorrow. These giants do not seem to be eerie monsters.

With a few brushstrokes, the artist takes viewers from everyday life to a fairy tale. His paintings remain fascinating today, since the wonderful is nearby, all you need is to take a good look.
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