Engel Sunde, Nikolai Astrup’s wife, grew up at Sunde on the south side of Kjøsnesfjorden (an extension of Jølstravatnet). Astrup probably met her while he was painting Kollen (1906), a mountain more commonly called Kleivefjellet, which lies between Kjøsnes and Lunde across the fjord from Sunde. Astrup was using a small room in Engel’s family home as a studio, and it offered a good view of the mountain. On the 23 December 1907, right before Astrup went on a study trip to London, he and Engel were wed at the vicarage.

Another well-known motif painted from Sunde is of Astrup’s daughter Kari – Motif from Sunde (probably 1918). She sits weaving a wreath of flowers, and in the background one can identify Grovanipa (mountain) and Kjøsnesfjorden stretching towards Jostedalsbreen (glacier) on the horizon.

From Sunde one can look over to Kjøsnes, the place where Astrup spent his summer vacations whilst studying with Harriet Backer ca. 1900. Kjøsnesstova (an old log construction) is on the waterfront. Here Astrup found his motifs for the painting Interior of Kjøsnesstova (1900-01) and The Corpse’s Dance(undated).

Solveig Berg Lofnes

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Nikolai Astrup