Mirages

Oil on canvas, 1917 - 1917, [480] x [560] mm

Unknown owner

An imposing mountain landscape hems in a small summer farm. The buildings and four or five cows are silhouetted against the mountains in the background, while a small bonfire glows gently in the dark in front of the farm. In the foreground, below the summer farm, lies a small tarn and a bubbling river. There is a purplish tone to the landscape, which offsets the various shades of greens, browns and white. The title “Mirages” refers to the optical illusion when something far away – due to the refraction of the light – appears to hover over the horizon. In this case, the summer farm buildings and the animals are the mirage.

The painting The Stardalen Mountain Farms (K126) from 1917 is an important reference, and “Mirages” is probably a study for that more highly worked version.

When Astrup died in 1928, the painting was inherited by his widow Engel Astrup (1892–1966). At the memorial exhibitions in Bergen and Kristiania (Oslo) that same year, this was one of the paintings she put up for sale. The price of this painting was 6,000 kroner, but it was not sold. A letter from the Bergens kunstforening to Christiania kunstforening (art societies) states that: “the unreasonably high prices demanded by Mrs. Astrup have prevented any sales. Hopefully – both for the sake of Mrs. Astrup and yourself – she will revise the prices when the exhibition opens in Oslo.” Engel Astrup had been given good advice in relation to the pricing. She was left with large debts after her husband’s death, and the sale of paintings still in his studio was a welcome source of future income.

Engel Astrup loaned “Mirages” to the Astrup exhibition in Bergen in 1955, but its subsequent history is unknown.  

Technical description

Provenance

-1917-1928:

Artist

Nikolai Astrup

(1880-1928)

1928-1955-:

By descent, to

Engel Astrup

(1892-1966)

Exhibition history

Solo exhibition

1928-10-10 - 1928-11-4

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Bergen

Catalogue number 113

See exhibition

1928-11-11 - 1928-12-9

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Kristiania (Oslo)

Catalogue number 113

See exhibition

1932-4-19 - 1932-5-8

Nicolai Astrup

Catalogue number [no]

See exhibition

1955-1-10 - 1955-12-31

Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt

Oslo

Catalogue number 94

See exhibition

Group exhibition

Bibliography

Bergens Kunstforening. Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Mindeutstilling. Bergen: Bergens kunstforening, 1928.

Kunstnernes Hus. Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt. Oslo: Kunstnernes Hus, 1955.

Mirages

Oil on canvas, 1917 - 1917, [480] x [560] mm

Unknown owner

Last update: 2024-01-24
27365
27366

Photo: © O. Væring Eftf AS

Technical description

Provenance

-1917-1928:

Artist

Nikolai Astrup

(1880-1928)

1928-1955-:

By descent, to

Engel Astrup

(1892-1966)

Exhibition history

Solo exhibition

1928-10-10 - 1928-11-4

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Bergen

Catalogue number 113

See exhibition

1928-11-11 - 1928-12-9

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Kristiania (Oslo)

Catalogue number 113

See exhibition

1932-4-19 - 1932-5-8

Nicolai Astrup

Catalogue number [no]

See exhibition

1955-1-10 - 1955-12-31

Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt

Oslo

Catalogue number 94

See exhibition

Group exhibition

Bibliography

Bergens Kunstforening. Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Mindeutstilling. Bergen: Bergens kunstforening, 1928.

Kunstnernes Hus. Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt. Oslo: Kunstnernes Hus, 1955.