Spring Rain and Cherries

undefined undefined undefined, 1902 - 1905, 420 x 510 mm

KODE Kunstmuseer og komponisthjem (KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes), Sparebankstiftelsen DnB

Two cherry trees are in full bloom in the parsonage garden in Ålhus. The blossoms on the trees brighten up the picture, and add colour and contrast to the grey weather. The garden is enclosed by a fence that traverses it, creating a separation between inside and outside. On the inside, the vegetables have begun to germinate in the dark, moist soil that is arranged in neat rows, while the landscape on the outside is soft and indistinct. The rain colours nature in murky green tones. The details become blurred in the wet atmosphere, but the colours do not lose their distinctive character.

Spring Rain and Cherries depict a section of the parsonage at Ålhus in Jølster. The direction is facing westward, and Astrup painted the motif from the vantage point of the window called “Hjørnestuen” (the “Corner Cabin”). The series of “Views from windows”, which includes 36 motifs, is found in the notebook Blandede motiver (Miscellaneous Motifs) from the period 1898–1904, and the motif has similarities with motif number 4: “view from the Hjörnestue window: barberry shrubs, meadows, the Mound, the Brook, red currant bushes, apple trees”. In the painting Astrup has focused on the garden with its blooming fruit trees and newly sown vegetable furrow, with  Klipperfossen (Kleberfossen) as a local landmark in the background. The painting The Parsonage Garden (K44) was also painted from this window: here the angle of the view is shifted to the left, so that the vegetable fields, the trees, and the mountains with the waterfall form a taut symmetrical composition. Øystein Loge characterises this work as a front composition, which we can also see in Spring Rain and Cherries.

“A small picture, yet forceful“ is Astrup’s description in his list of works from 1927. 

In his notebook Miscellaneous Motifs (1898–1904) Astrup describes the way in which this motif can be executed: “The two cherry trees by the upper garden full of yellow white flowers in the rain (is painted wet on wet) and a peculiar freshness in the green which is nearly blended with the white with a stiff hog hair brush with coarse bristles. The tree trunks almost wet black”.

The effect of the wet on wet technique is clearly visible in the rendering of the flowering treetops: here the green masses are painted in thick layers, and the flowers are added before the underlying paint layers have dried. In this way, the light and dark colours blend together. The motif is without precise details in the treetops as they are depicted in Rainy Atmosphere beneath the Trees at Jølster Parsonage (K23), for example. This is one of the paintings Astrup later referred to as a sketch, and this is understandable based on the small format as well as the way the rainy atmosphere is depicted. 

-1902-1905:

Nikolai Astrup

(1880-1928)

1905-1938:

Edvard Waldemar Aslaksen

(1868-1938)

1938-1985-:

Halfdan Fredrik Aslaksen

(1904-1992)

-1994-2005:

1905-4-1 - 1905-4-30

Nikolai Astrup

Kristiania (Oslo)

[16]

1908-5-3 - 1908-5-27

Nikolai Astrups Maleriutstilling

Bergen

60

1911-1-22 - 1911-2-12

Nikolai Astrup

Kristiania (Oslo)

[28]

1928-11-11 - 1928-12-9

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Kristiania (Oslo)

83

1955-1-10 - 1955-12-31

Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt

Oslo

34

1980-3-14 - 1980-4-7

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Maleri, tegning, grafikk

Bergen

23

1980-4-12 - 1980-5-4

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Maleri, tegning, grafikk

Oslo

23

1980-6-4 - 1980-6-29

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Maleri, tegning, grafikk

Trondheim

23

1986-6-21 - 1986-8-15

Nikolai Astrup. Naturkjensle mot industrisamfunnet

Sandalstrand, Jølster

7

1987-5-23 - 1987-9-30

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928

Åmot

11

1994 - 1994

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Stavanger

10

1994-9-17 - 1994-11-13

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Oslo

10

1995 - 1995

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Lillehammer

10

1995 - 1995

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Trondheim

10

1995-3-18 - 1995-5-7

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Bergen

10

1995-5-15 - 1995-9-15

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Jølster

10

2011-5-14 - 2011-9-11

Nikolai Astrup: Å møtast på ein klote, på ein stad

Rosendal

11

2017-3-3 - 2020

Nikolai Astrup Ut av skyggen

Bergen

Bergens kunstforening. Katalog over Nikolai Astrups Maleriutstilling. Bergen: Bergens kunstforening, 1908.

Loge, Øystein. Betrothed to Nature. Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 2010.