Autumn Rain in a Mountain Village

undefined undefined undefined, 1899 - 1899, 550 x 840 mm

Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design

In this early rainy weather motif, the focus is on the simple barn in the foreground. The planks are wet with rain, creating a colourful display that ranges from warm brown tones to a cold, blue-grey colour that reflects the chaotic sky. Rushing through the farmyard, the little brook has overflowed with the rainwater, and in the background the powerful waterfall  Klipperfossen (Kleberfossen) forms a foaming white eye-catcher. 

The motif depicts the smokehouse and barn in the parsonage farmyard at Ålhus in Jølster. One can see more of the farmyard in the paintings Rainy Weather Atmosphere (K73; 1902–1908), Farmyard in Jølster (K25; 1902) and Storehouse in Jølster (K41; 1902–1905). The different details of the clustered of buildings in the farmyard connect the pictures, in addition to the fact that  Klipperfossen (Kleberfossen) forms a common landmark in the background.

It is believed that Astrup painted Autumn Rain in a Mountain Village already at the age of 19, in autumn 1899, in other words the same year he began studying at Harriet Backer’s school of painting in Kristiania (Oslo). This is one of the first pictures in which he attempted to capture the character of West Norway. He remembers it in his own words: “I was 19 years old when I painted it and I often feel – though perhaps it is an illusion – that I have never since been able to feel or paint nature so intensely”. The rain has washed nature, the houses and the landscape in raw colours. The composition is arranged in fields of brownish-red, a green and cold grey, against the white foam of waterfalls and brooks. The effect created by the colours is both murky and fresh.

Autumn Rain in a Mountain Village was shown in the Artist Society’s spring exhibition in 1901, and according to Astrup it received positive reviews by the older artists. Eilif Peterssen was among those who were impressed with Astrup’s depictions of rainy weather: “Now I and many with me have for many years attempted to paint rain – and here comes Astrup and simply lets it rain”. After having seen the painting in this exhibition, the artist Kitty Kielland made sure that Astrup received a travel grant in the amount of 1000 kroner from Olaf Schou. This brought Astrup to Copenhagen, Lübeck, Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden and Munich, before he finally enrolled in the Academie Colarossi in Paris. The artist Helga Marie Ring Reusch also purchased the painting, and bequeathed it to the National Museum in 1946.  

The artist does not write directly about this painting, yet reflects on what he calls “autumn colours” in his notebook Blandede motiver (Miscellaneous Motifs). In one colour composition he juxtaposes nuances of blood red, orange, crimson, a pinkish white and blue with olive-green, yellow, olive-blue and violet. The colours were alternately matt and glossy in order to create an atmospheric effect. Some of the same effect can be traced in this painting. The colour scheme resembles that used in Farmyard in Jølster (K25; 1902) and Storehouse in Jølster (K41; 1902–1905).

Astrup states in his catalogue of works from 1927 that painting number 64, “Autumn Rain in a Mountain Village” is painted with “the cheap 15-öre amateur paint tubes and on cardboard canvas”. This corresponds with the support material stated in the National Museum’s collection catalogue: oil on canvas glued to cardboard on fibreboard. 


Nikolai Astrup



Helga Marie Reusch


1911-1-22 - 1911-2-12

Nikolai Astrup

Kristiania (Oslo)


1928-11-11 - 1928-12-9

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Kristiania (Oslo)


1901-3 - 1901-4


Kristiania (Oslo)


1906-9-29 - 1906-12-1

Den Norske Udstilling



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