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Archive for the ‘The European Diaries’ Category

The Art Gallery at Trondheim has a large collection of Norwegian art from around 1850 up to the present. It also has an impressive collection of Danish art and a significant representation of other renowned international artists.

Savour some of these at leisure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see artworks of a different culture is quite instructive. The kind of natural forces the people deal with. The kind of life they led. Such mundane happenings as calling a physician, visiting the town square, listening to a street musician or even depicting the means of livelihood of people – all these get captured in exquisite detail. Portraits of some persons – famous or otherwise – invariably form an integral part of the art collection. Even abstract art conveys the inner state of the artist at the time the work was getting done, possibly with a benevolent muse by his side!

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/09/01/a-walk-around-the-city-of-trondheim-in-norway-part-1-of-2)

 

 

 

 

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Just like human beings who boast of a life cycle, many of our cities also undergo cyclical changes. These gain importance over a period of time and then end up losing it at times, based on their economic and political fortunes at a given point in time.

But a ready supply of natural resources and the indomitable spirit of those who inhabit our cities ensure that these continue to thrive and do well. Over time, their character might change from that of a major trading centre to a well-known hub of education and scientific research.

Some may suffer repeatedly at the hands of Logi, the Nordic Fire God, and experience devastating fires, only to rise again from the ashes, much like a Phoenix would. Others may witness riots because of a proposal to change the name of the city, leaving The Bard squirming in his grave. Through all these challenges, the city continues to thrive. The resilience of the human spirit reigns supreme.

Recently, yours truly had the opportunity of a leisurely stroll or two through the streets of Trondheim in Norway. One can trace its origins back to the Viking Age circa 997 AD. It served as the capital of Norway until 1217. In the olden days, it appears to have handled the kind of challenges described above with much aplomb.

Here are some visuals which might appeal to some of you.

The Nidelva River

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Art and Buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nidaros Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last one, located within the premises of the Cathedral, is a monument commemorating those who lost their lives during the World War II.

Night view from the Egon revolving restaurant

 

As with most historic cities of the day, Trondheim also appears to be striking a fine balance between preserving its heritage and absorbing contemporary building designs. One merely hopes that forces of crass commercialism are kept on a tight leash by those who matter.

Stay tuned for a saunter down the Trondheim Museum of Arts!

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Here is a country where the mind is without fear

And the head is held high

Where knowledge to children and youth is virtually free

And those distressed by the world are welcomed with open arms;

 

Where the definition of nationalism implies inclusivity

Fine arts of all countries and cultures are welcome

If narrow domestic walls exist, these are only to protect national interests

Where respect for the law of the land reigns supreme;

 

Where gender equity and diversity is not a mere slogan

The care offered to the elderly is exemplary

Some wish the taxes to be lower but realize the money is well spent

In many ways does it serve and comfort the citizens; 

 

Where human endeavour aims to attain perfection

Words come out from an inner conviction

Gentle, helpful, physically active and resilient

Following a work culture which deserves to be aped;

 

Where one can encounter the true gifts of nature

Clean air, pristine water, lakes and streams

One amongst which is the clear stream of reason 

Leading to ever-widening thought and action;

 

Into this heaven of freedom, I wish this country to remain.

 

(Inspired by the famous poem ‘Where the mind is without fear…’ by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore)

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Artists appear to love depicting human beings in all conditions, including in the buff. Perhaps they are in awe of the wonderful creation known as the human body. Understandably so.

Somehow, members of the tribe of the delicately nurtured attract much more of their attention than those who happen to be members of the so-called sterner sex. One wonders as to why the latter have so far not formed a union of some kind and registered a protest at this kind of discrimination!

Madonna (Edvard Munch)

 

 

The Sleepwalker (Gustav Vigeland)

 

At the entrance

 

Dance of Life (Edvard Munch)

 

Female Nude (Per Deberitz)

 

Female Nude (Jean Heiberg)

 

Bathers at a Forest Pond (Eric Heckel)

 

Women on the Beach (Bjarne Engebret)

 

Fishing Boats (Max Pechstein)

 

Another one at the entrance

 

One more at the entrance

 

It is praiseworthy that Norway’s rich artistic heritage is being preserved and presented so well at the National Gallery in Oslo. To soak it in, all one needs to have is some time and interest.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/the-dance-of-life-at-the-national-gallery-of-norway

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/revisiting-the-national-gallery-of-norway-nature

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/28/revisiting-the-national-gallery-of-norway-humans-part-1)

 

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We continue our exploration of the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo.

In the previous post, we looked at the manner in which different elements of Nature have got captured in some of the paintings on display.

In this post, and in the next one, we admire the life-like depiction of human beings and their interactions with each other. Some are mythical, some are real and some are a product of the artist’s creative genius.

Woman Suckling an Infant (Ferdinand Bol)

 

Mary Magdalene penitent (Artisia Gentileschi)

 

A rustic party (David Teniers)

 

The Three Graces listening to Cupid’s song (Bertel Thorvaldsen)

 

The Farewell (Harriet Backer)

 

The Return of the Bear Hunter (Adolph Tidemand)

 

The Thinker (Auguste Rodin)

 

La Coiffure (Edgar Degas)

 

The Dreamer (Halfdan Egedius)

 

Portrait of Gerda (Richard Bergh)

 

Albertine to See the Police Surgeon (Christian Krohg)

 

Mother and Daughter (Edvard Munch)

 

The Girls on the Bridge (Edvard Munch)

‘Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.’

This is what Munch had to say. How very insightful!

(Continued…..)

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/revisiting-the-national-gallery-of-norway-nature)

 

 

 

 

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An opportunity arose recently for yours truly to be able to revisit the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo. Time spent in its serene ambience, soaking in the artistic brilliance in each of its works on display, was time well spent, indeed.

This post captures some of the paintings which depict the beauty of nature in all its glory.

Oak Tree by the Elbe in Winter (Johan Christian Dahl)

 

The Labro Falls at Kongsberg (Thomas Fearnley)

 

The Grindelwaldgletscher (Thomas Fearnley)

 

Winter at the River Simoa (Frits Thaulow)

 

Storm, Evening (Eugene Jansson)

 

Street in Roros in Winter (Harald Sohlberg)

 

Flower Meadow in the North of Norway (Harald Sohlberg)

 

Summer Night (Kitty Kielland)

 

Moonlight (Edvard Munch)

 

Landscape from Holmsbu (Oluf Wold-Torne)

 

The White Horse in Spring (Nikolai Astrup)

 

In the Garden (Astri Welhaven Heiberg)

 

Each painting is unique, and captures a different mood of Mother Nature in a very effective manner.

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/the-dance-of-life-at-the-national-gallery-of-norway)

 

 

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Portrait Torvald Stang

 

Seated Model on the Couch

 

Summer in the Garden

 

Sunrays

 

The Pathfinder

 

The Sun

 

Tree

 

Two Backfisches

 

Two Maids

 

Two Women

 

Waves Against the Shore

 

Winter Landscape

 

Winter Night

 

Woman with Poppies

 

Edvard Munch

 

The creative outpourings of artists depend on several factors. One such factor is their upbringing, which shapes their value systems and their outlook towards life in general. Yet another is the kind of challenges life throws at them. The opportunities they get matter. The people who surround and support them in their work also matter.

Above all, the fact that their ideas find a resonance amongst those who have an eye for the kind of creative output they are capable of churning out.

 

(Note: The poor quality of reproduction of these paintings is surely not a reflection on the original work of the artist. These merely expose the limited photography and photo-editing skills of yours truly.)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/a-saunter-down-the-munch-museum-in-oslo-norway-part-1-of-3

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/a-saunter-down-the-munch-museum-in-oslo-norway-part-2-of-3)

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