March 10th, 2010

hasui hirakawa morning

Scratch that itch

In the spring and summer of 1993 there was an exhibition at Ueno's National Museum of Western Art called Winter Land: Norwegian Visions of Winter. I went to it often. It reminded me of home and cold and winter skies and stuff you didn't get in Tokyo; though unless I'm mad, the reason it was in Japan was that Japan's Hokkaido counts as one of the northern winter countries the exhibit was aimed at.

I bought the one available reproduction that was close to what I liked about the exhibit, Harald Sohlberg's Winter Evening (The Old Captain's House.) There were other paintings I could only vaguely remember in later years-- stuff that said George Caspar Friedrichs to me, though none of his online paintings looked at all like what I remembered as his. (They were probably Johann Christian Dahl, now I think of it. That megalith grave looks awfully familiar.)

Periodically I'd google things like 'Norwegian painters' 'landscape' 'snow' and come up with lots of close but no cigars. Only today did it occur to me to roust out my print and google the artist's name. And bingo: up come one of the haunting snow scenes I'd vaguely recalled. Then did me one better: realized that the exhibition had been called Winter *Land*, not Winter Light (too much Bergman at a young age = brain melt) and there we are. With a catalogue as well, generally going for $100 plus, a bit out of my range. But there's a copy at the Met's library I might look at in April.

For reference: Sohlberg's wikipedia article-- which doesn't link that snow scene, though the Nature in Art in Norway wiki entry does. Also to be found at a interview with Brad Holland, of all things.

More landscapes, part of stock photos, not all of which are Munch.

Nature in Art in Norway