Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Meyer, Hans Jacob; Meyer, Solveig Bergitte
1920-12-17

Transcription:

Tor Martin Leknes

Translation:

Francesca Nichols

Page

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5
Transcription
Translation

Letter

Astrup, Nikolai to Meyer, Hans Jacob; Meyer, Solveig Bergitte
1920-12-17
Brevs.295-66537, Nasjonalbiblioteket

5 Pages

Transcription: Tor Martin Leknes

Translation: Francesca Nichols

Transcription

        Kjære Hr. Kaptein Meyer og frùe!

Modtag min og hele familiens hjærteligste

tak for den ùventede venlighed, I viser os

ved at sende saa meget godt til os til

jùl; – her var ùmùligt at faa noget

paa landhandlerierne, saa dette var baade

overraskende og kjærkomment, – jeg veed

ikke hvad tid; jeg skal faa anledning at

gjöre noget gjengjæld; – jeg optager Eders

venlighed som et bevis for at I finder

at prisen paa billederne var rimelig; – men

jeg vilde dog gjerne faat gjengjælde Eders ven-

lighed nù med en liden skisse eller lign.;

men paa grùnd af sygdom, har jeg jo intet

for tiden; – jeg ved ikke om De kjender til

"den moderne træsnitkùnst" – "farvetræsnit"

og "sort og hvidt"-træsnit, – det er en kunstart

som interesserer mig meget, – den er op-

rindelig kommen fra Japan, – men er her

i Europa optaget i en lidt anden form, der

mere passer til vor kùnst. Her i landet er

Mùnch og jeg af de faa, som har befattet sig

II

med dette "moderne træsnit", som det kaldes

i modsætning til det tidligere kjendte træsnit

eller som det ogsaa kaldes: Zylografi (nærmest

et maskin arbeide). Mùnch er meget begeistret

over mine træsnit og har tidligere kjöbt 3 af

mine ting, – maleren Svarstad har bestilt et

ogsaa; men ellers har jo folk flest liden inter-

esse for den slags, – enkelte mùseer har kjöbt af

mine træsnit, – ligeledes en del samlere og nogle

kunstinteresserede skibsredere – saaledes Th. Halvor-

sen, Olaf Ørvig, Klavenes, Thesen o.a.

Skulde De interessere Dem for denne kùnstart,

skal det være mig en fornöielse at trykke et

eller andet af disse træsnit til Dem, saa snart

jeg blir saapas frisk, – alle mine træsnit er ùdfört

med haandtryk, – de moderne træsnit lader sig

ikke maskin trykke i almindelighed, – de stiger

derfor stadig i værdi, – de kan kun trykkes i et

begrændset antal, da kunstneren selv maa udfö-

re det, – da kùn han kan erindre farverne for

de mange forskjellige plater, som skal til

for at lave et "tryk", – jeg har ùndertiden skaaret

op til 10 plader til et tryk – og det er et sent 

arbeide; – men det er ogsaa sent at trykke "med

haand" – da hver plade maa trykkes med den

störste noiagtighed. Nei dette interesserer vel

III

neppe Eder, – men skulde I enten have seet

et bestemt "tryk" af mig, – eller De skulde faa se

noget paa en udstilling, som De likte, saa giv mig

en ùnderretning. 

Angaaende forandringen af sæterbilledet, saa skal

jeg udföre det, om De vil straks (– jeg er nù bedre,

om jeg end af og til har kvælningsanfald, saa jeg

ofte tror min sidste time er kommen): men det

kùnde jo kanske hænde, som De siger at I kunde

komme til "andre resùltater" senere.

Ja det er jo trist at være syg og uarbeidsdygtig naar

man har bestillinger stadig – nù til jùl har jeg

havt en masse forespörgsler.

Det var altfor snildt af Eder at sende mig det

vakre julehefte, – for mig var det at friske op igjen

minderne fra mit besök i det Thielske galleri

som De nù ogsaa har seet – jeg forstaar godt at De

blev begeistret, – jeg blev det ogsaa dengang; – næsten

mere over denne vidunderlige blanding af "hjem"

og "galleri" end om selve kunstværkerne, – der dog

gjennemgaaende hörer til nordens bedste kùnst.

Ja den som kunde eiet et sligt "hjem". Rasmùs

Meyer var jo paa god vei til det samme, – hans kunst-

samling var endog bedre, men "hjemmet" manglede,

han var kanske for meget "samler" paa mange

felter, – en antikvitets samler bör ikke ogsaa være

kunstsamler, – han klarer ikke begge dele i et hùs

IIII

uden at det gaar ùd over den "hjemlige hygge".

En kunstner som Otto Valstad har til en vis grad

klaret alle tre ting: baade antikviteterne, kunsten

og det hyggelige hjem, – men saa har han heller 

ingen börn at passe antikviteterne for, – og ùden

börnene blir det heller ikke rigtig noget "hjem". –

Tak for bestillingen paa et "Solei billede", men jeg

tör desværre intet "sikkert" love, men skal have det

i erindring og gjöre, hvad jeg kan til vaaren; – her

begynder nemlig at blive saa veldyrket og afgröftet

i bygden, at de tætte gùle soleimarker, snart er –

– ligesom de vandsyke marker, – en saga blot, – det

var för, da man havde raad at lade gjödselvandet

rende ned over de vandsyge marker og myrer, at solei-

erne optraadte i slige sammenhængende tætte belter

og ornamenter – særlig her i Söndfjord, – men lidt

soleiklynger kan jeg nok finde endnù, – men jeg sörger

over at Rasmùs Meyers slegtninge fratog samlingen

mit bedste soleibillede – Meyer fik det for meget

billig pris fordi det skulde være i hans samling – 

jeg var bùden mere end det dobbelte af en privatmand,

men Meyer vilde ikke give slip paa det billede og heller

ikke lægge paa prisen – af hensyn til galleriet fik han det da. 

  Ja saa maa jeg og min familie atter faa

  sige Eder en hjærtelig tak og önske Eder med

  familie en rigtig god Jul! Deres meget for-

bùndne Nikolai Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

Til

Hr. Capt. H. J. Meyer og frùe

Vetrlidsalmending 27

Bergen

Translation

Dear Captain and Mrs. Meyer!

Please accept my and my entire family’s sincerest

thanks for the unexpected kindness, that You show us

by sending so many good things to us for

Christmas; – here it was impossible to obtain anything

at the general stores, so this was both

surprising and welcome, – I don’t

know when; I shall have the opportunity to

repay your kindness; – I perceive Your

kindness as proof that You find

the price of the pictures reasonable; – yet 

I would nevertheless gladly repay Your kind-

ness now with a little sketch or the like;

but because of illness, I have nothing

at the moment; – I don’t know whether You are familiar with

"the modern art of woodcuts" – "colour woodcut"

and "black and white" woodcut, – it is an art form

that interests me greatly, – it comes origi-

nally from Japan, – but here

in Europe it is taken up in a somewhat different form, which

better suits our art. Here in Norway 

Mùnch and I are among the few, who have occupied ourselves

II

with this "modern woodcut", as it is called

as opposed to the previously known wood engraving

or as it is also known as; Xylography (practically

a mechanically produced work). Mùnch is very enthusiastic

about my woodcuts and has previously acquired 3 of

my things, – the painter Svarstad has commissioned one

as well; but otherwise most people have little in-

terest in such things, – certain museums have purchased some of

my woodcuts, – likewise a few collectors and some

shipowners who are art enthusiasts – in particular Th. Halvor-

sen, Olaf Ørvig, Klavenes, Thesen and others.

If You are interested in this art form,

it would be a pleasure to print one

or another of these woodcuts for You, as soon

as I become well enough, – all of my woodcuts are executed

by hand, – the modern woodcut is generally 

unsuited to being printed by machine, – they therefore

continuously increase in value, – they can only be printed in a

limited number, as the artist himself must exe-

cute it, – as only he can remember the colours for

the many different blocks, which are required

to make a "print", – I have at times engraved

up to 10 blocks for one print – and it is a time-consuming

task; – but it is also time-consuming to print "by

hand" – as each block must be printed with the

greatest precision. Well this will hardly interest

                III

You, – yet if You have either seen

a specific "print" of mine, – or You should see

something at an exhibition, that You liked, then let me

know. 

As for the change in the mountain pasture picture, I shall

carry it out immediately, if You wish (– I am better now,

although I have choking seizures now and then, which 

often makes me think my final hour has arrived): but it

could perhaps be, as You say that You might

arrive at "other conclusions" later.

Yes it is sad to be ill and unable to work when

one has regular commissions – for Christmas I have now

had a great many requests.

It was too kind of You to send me the

beautiful Christmas magazine, – for me it served to refresh

memories of my visit to the Thiel gallery

which You have now also seen – I understand very well that You

were enthusiastic, – I had been too back then; – almost

more about the splendid combination of "home"

and "gallery" than about the artworks themselves, – which nevertheless

generally belong among the best Nordic art.

Well imagine being the owner of such a "home". Rasmùs

Meyer was indeed well on his way to achieving the same, – his art

collection was even better, but "the home" was lacking, 

perhaps he was a "collector" in too many

areas, – an antique collector should not also be an

art collector, – he cannot manage both in one house

IIII

without it interfering with the "feeling of home".

An artist like Otto Valstad has in some measure

achieved all three things: the antiques, the art

and the comfortable home, – but then again he does 

not have any children to protect the antiques from, – and without

children it can never really be a "home". –

Thank you for the request for a "Marigold picture", but I

unfortunately dare not promise anything "for certain", but will keep it

in mind and do what I can in the spring; – here it seems

to have become so well cultivated and the ditches are cleaned up

in the village, so that the yellow marigold fields, are –

– like the waterlogged fields, – soon to be a thing of the past, – it

was in the past, when one could afford to let the runoff of manure

seep down into the waterlogged fields and marshes, that the

marigolds appeared in those continuous teeming swathes 

and ornaments – especially here in Söndfjord, – but I will

be sure to find a few clusters of marigolds, – yet I grieve

over the fact that Rasmùs Meyer’s relatives removed from the collection

my best marigold picture – Meyer got it for a very

cheap price because it was to remain in his collection – 

a private person offered me more than the double,

but Meyer would not give up the picture nor

increase the price – he therefore got it for the sake of the gallery

Well now I and my family must express our 

gratitude to You once again and wish You and Your

family a very Merry Christmas! Most 

            sincerely Yours Nikolai Astrup

Envelope, front:

To

Capt. and Mrs. H. J. Meyer

Vetrlidsalmending 27

Bergen