The core of the Catalogue Raisonné is naturally the artworks themselves. Investigations of motif, style, technique, and support material, in addition to interpretations of the information on the back of a painting, is an essential part of the work. Reflections gleaned from these aspects, set against the provenance, exhibition history and archival material, can help in verifying whether a work has been executed by the artist.
The scope of Astrup’s paintings is between 260 and 335 paintings. This estimate is based on a review of Øystein Loge’s catalogue of works, which includes 210 paintings, in addition to Astrup's own list of works from 1927 and a summary of the artist’s exhibition history. The gap points to a probable scope: although 260 paintings are identified (autumn 2023), a review of Astrup's list and the exhibition history reveals that there are close to 75 paintings that have neither been identified nor located. Among the located works, 128 paintings are in public collections.
The Astrup Research Centre would like to extend their gratitude to all the museums and foundations that have allowed us access to their collections. A special thanks to all the private owners who have invited us into their homes, enabling us to view and photograph the work of art, and for sharing stories and source material linked to the works.
The Catalogue Raisonné is continuously updated.
A major source is Astrup’s correspondence and notes. As part of the research project, all known manuscripts have been digitised, and in addition a large portion have been transcribed and translated into English. The manuscripts are available in the digital archive with facsimiles, annotated transcripts and authorised English translations. The English edition is a collaboration between translator Francesca M. Nichols and members of the Astrup Research Centre.
The Astrup Research Centre would like to thank the National Library of Norway and the University of Bergen Library for digitising material, and the Public Library in Jølster (Municipality of Sunnfjord) for the lending of correspondence material for digitising.
The Centre is continually on the lookout for new archive material, and updates the bibliography regularly.
The exhibition history is major source of information for the Catalogue Raisonné as it contains details about the work and information about its provenance. Since his debut in 1899, Nikolai Astrup’s art has been shown in numerous exhibitions, both in Norway and abroad. The database presents the solo and group exhibitions separately. During his lifetime, Astrup arranged four solo exhibitions and participated in 15 group exhibitions. The database is regularly updated with current exhibitions. Each exhibition is presented with dates, institution and curator, references to a catalogue, reviews and other coverage, in addition to a gallery of the exhibited works. The galleries are updated parallel to the Catalogue Raisonné.
The database contains an overview of persons who, in one way or another, were associated with Astrup. This includes persons who are mentioned in manuscripts and correspondence to and from the artist, as well as curators who have arranged Astrup exhibitions.
The database is also an essential tool in the provenance research, which is a major component of the work on the Catalogue Raisonné. The register of persons contains names, dates of birth and death, as well as short biographies and the nature of the person’s relationship to the artist. Letter recipients and persons mentioned in manuscripts will include a list of the relevant sources, while the owners of Astrup’s works will be supplemented with a gallery of the relevant works.
Protection of privacy is maintained according to the rules governing privacy protection and the European Union’s GDPR. The collection of data follows the principle of data minimization, while persons born up to 100 years ago remain anonymous (“Private Owner”). By utilising a declaration of agreement in the collecting and publishing of personal data, the research project seeks to give the persons involved as much control over their personal data as possible.
The database is a compilation of all the institutions that Astrup’s art is represented in, or has been exhibition in, or is relevant to his oeuvre. This includes museums, galleries, art dealers and other organisations, such as foundations or firms. The database is an essential tool in the provenance research, which is a major component of the work on the Catalogue Raisonné. Each institution is presented with the year it was founded (and closed, if relevant) and addresses. Public collections of Astrup’s art also include a picture gallery.
The Catalogue Raisonné project requires a systematic and methodical accumulation and review of published and unpublished material. The bibliography reflects the source material and contains more than 1100 references divided between the categories: Book; Book section; Catalogue; Edited Book; Film or Broadcast; Journal Article; Newspaper Article; Pamphlet; Thesis; and Unpublished Work.
The bibliography including Astrup's manuscripts are also available with this type of documentation in the reference software EndNote: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access.