Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella; Høst, Sigurd
1910-06-08

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8
Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella; Høst, Sigurd
1910-06-08
Brevs.531-66416, Nasjonalbiblioteket

8 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

             Kjære Höst og frúe

Jeg fornærmede eder vel ikke i mit

forrige brev – jeg var saa nervös og daarlig

dengang, at jeg veed ikke, hvad jeg skrev.

Det var pinseaften, jeg skrev sidst til eder

og pinsedagene gik jeg og var nervös fordi

jeg ikke kùnde arbeide i helgen, thi da

var natùren her paa det vakreste, den

har ikke været vakrere og blir heller

ikke vakrere i aar, og da pinsen vel

var over kom 17de mai, saa fik jeg ikke

arbeide den dag heller – og saa skùlde

jeg som god patriot salùtere i dagens

anledning og var da saa uheldig at 

en dynamit patron explodere fortidligt

i det jeg skulde sætte lunte og fænghætte i 

den, – det gik dog efeter omstændigheder-

ne heldigt – alle vindùsrùderne gik

ud i min stue og fænghætten rev op

armen min lidt – heldigvis laa

pulsaaren og vibrerede lige hel i saaret

et par sener og blodaarer blev avrevne,

saa jeg blödde som en kalv, men nù

er jeg det snart grodd igjen, men

historien har hindret mig lidt i mit

arbeide, da jeg har havt vanskelig

for at bevæge fingrene og haandleddet,

da nogle sener er af; – tommelfin-

geren kommer jeg vist aldrig til at

kùnne bevæge ùdover i fra haanden;

men det har jeg jo heller ikke saa

megen brug for – værre er det, at hele 

armen vil blive ligesom lam, naar

jeg har malet et par timer – men

saa har jeg heller ikke sparet den for

arbeide – allerede 2 dage efter begyndte

jeg at male – og har siden malet hver

nat paa soleimotivet – det er billedet

til Grieg det gjælder. Om dagene

præparerer jeg lærreder. Jeg arbeider

det, jeg orker om dagene – og velsigner

mine kvælningsanfald, fordi de ikke 

lader mig sove, saa jeg faar arbeide

om natten ogsaa; – naar livets glæder

tages fra mig og plager og pinsler paalæg-

ges mig – saa faar jeg smi begreberne om

og kalde mine plager for nydelser og

drage mig dem til nytte – kanske de

da ogsaa fratages mig – jeg begynder allerede

at kùnne klare at snù mine begreber saa-

ledes om, – naar jeg saaledes lidt over

midnat overvældes af træthed, saa jeg

begynder at vakle i föderne – saa siger

jeg til mig selv – "dù har drukket dig

snyde fùld – dù har faaet en deilig

rùs – se bare til at holde dig oppe, saa

ingen mærker det", og trætheden kan

da virkelig give mig en rùs og en stimù-

lens, saa jeg kan arbeide videre – indtil

penselen plùdselig sætter en streg bort

over billedet, – da maa jeg slùtte for

ikke at ödelægge mere. Ja naar jeg

nævner ödelægge – saa kommer kommer 

jeg ihù hvor sörgelig jeg arbeidede i gaar nat.

Jeg var dygtig træt, og da det led lidt over

midnat kom der en eventyragtig stem-

ning over naturen – en lys sölvagtig

eventyrnat – græsset sölvgrönt isprængt

rosa og violet – soleibladene blev bleg-

blaa og soleirne næsten hvide. Jeg saa

paa mit lærred – det forekom mig kjedeligt –

ting som jeg för var meget tilfreds med för,

syntes mig ùmulige nù, – nei jeg maatte

have tag i denne vidunderlige stemning –

jeg malte som rasende – malte omigjen hele

forgrùnden – indtil jeg begyndte at fryse

slig, at jeg ikke klarte det længer – da

först opdagede jeg aarsagen til den vid-

ùnderlige stemning: – hvert græsstraa og 

blomst var bedækket med rim – alle

blade var hvide eller blegblaa af et lag

rim – og saa havde jeg ödelagt billedet. –

I dag eller rettere i nat har jeg slidt for at

oprette skaden, men soleiblade og stilke

staar kröllede og böiede af nattefrosten

igaar – og det lider paa aaret, saa

soleirne og dermed motivet er snart forbi.

Slig rim har jeg aldrig seet för om sommeren.

II

Jeg havde sat saa store forhaabninger

til dette motiv i aar – det skulde blive

bedre end nogen af mine tidligere billeder

af samme motiv – kanske det endnù kùn-

de blive det – jeg har ogsaa arbeidet

i denne tid – lærredrammer, opspæn-

ding af lærred og præparering har jeg arbeidet

med om dagerne og det er et tungt og

trættende arbeide, – især opspændingen

af lærredet, som ofte maa gjöres om

igjen, hvis lærredet vil blive skjævt,

saa springer kanske en ramme istykker

under præpareringen, da de ikke altid

taaler den sterke stramning, som

foröges naar lærredet blir fugtigt af

præparaturen – og saa maa arbeidet gjöres

om igjen – men jeg synes det er godt

at faa slide og arbeide sig rigtig træt

selv om armen værker, thi det er det

eneste middel mot nervösiteten – jeg

klarer mig med 4 timers sövn i dögnet, men

da er jeg ogsaa træt bestandig. Kùnde jeg

nù bare faa soleibilledet færdigt snart,

saa kunde jeg jo hvile lidt igjen, men

og kanske faa lidt mynt, thi Grieg

har jo lovet mig hùndrede kroner for

at faa et bedre billede end soleibilledet

hos Meyer – og saa kjöbte kanske Meyer

det billede, som Grieg nù har. Jeg har

maattet ydmyge mig til at laane

af far (et större belöb for förste gang)

Her er motiver alle vegne – stegende

hedt om dagene og mere end vinter-

kùlde om nætterne; – men jeg faar

holde mig til billedet, jeg er begyndt

med, om jeg ser aldrig saa mange

andre motiver – det er besynderlig,

at jeg skal maatte slide saa med

dette motiv nù – jeg skùlde jo kjende

det saa godt fra för, – men jeg tror

et motiv blir værre jo flere billeder,

jeg maler af det – dette er nù det 4de,

og saa er jeg vel kommen ùd af övel

övelsen med malingen nù, siden jeg

har været saa meget syg – saa det

gaar tùngt i begyndelsen, men maven

er i bedring af og til – nervösiteten ogsaa,

saa det kan kanske gaa fremover.

I nævnte i et af brevene at I havde

den kasse – hvori de tre billeder blev

sendt i höst – vil I være saa venlige

at sende den til Förde, – skriv saa

et par ord om hvormeget jeg skylder

eder for fragt og transport i Bergen af

mine billeder. Jeg har endnù intet

gjort med Knùdsen – jeg er bange for

min onde samvittighed – den vil jeg

helst være fri nù, naar jeg skal arbeide.

Nù faar jeg slutte for idag – skal jeg sidde

for længe i ro kommer nervösiteten

igjen. Faar jeg solgt noget i sommer

vil jeg bygge to smaahytter op ved siden

af den jeg har, hvis I da ikke synes

der er altfor smaat hos mig, vilde jeg

være glad, om I vilde se indom mig en tùr

i sommer. Engel beder hilse, hùn er syg – 

hoster stadig. De bedste hilsener. Eders Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

Til

    Hr. Overlærer Sigùrd Höst

Velhavens gd. 30

Bergen

Oversettelse

             Dear Höst and Mrs

I hope I did not offend you in my

previous letter – I was so nervous and ailing

at the time, that I have no idea, what I wrote.

It was on the Eve of Pentecost, I last wrote you

and during the Pentecost holidays I was anxious because

I could not work during the weekend, for 

nature was at its most beautiful then, it

has never been more beautiful and will

not be more beautiful [again] this year, and when Pentecost was

over the 17th of May arrived, so I was not able

to work on that day either – and when as

a good patriot I was going to salute the 

occasion I was so unfortunate that

a dynamite cartridge exploded prematurely

as I was putting the fuse and the cap on 

it, – though under the circumstances it

went well– all the window panes were

broken in my living room and the cap tore up

my arm a little – fortunately the

artery pulsed unscathed inside the wound

a few tendons and veins were severed,

so that I bled like a calf, but now

I it has almost healed, but the

incident has hindered me somewhat in my

work, as I have had difficulty

in moving my fingers and wrist,

because some of the tendons are torn; – my thumb

I will probably never be able 

to bend outward from the hand [again];

but I don’t have much use for doing

that either – it is far worse, that my entire

arm becomes almost paralysed, when

I have painted for a couple of hours – but 

then I have never spared it when

working – already 2 days later I began

to paint – and have since painted every

night on the marigold motif – it is the picture 

for Grieg I’m referring to. During the day

I prime canvases. I work

as much as I can during the day – and am grateful

for my choking fits, because they prevent 

me from sleeping, so I can work

at night as well; – when the pleasures of life

are taken from me and suffering and torment are im-

posed on me – then I turn my conceptions around

and call my suffering pleasure and

try to make some use of them – maybe then they 

too will be taken from me – I have already 

learned to turn my conceptions around to

such an extent, – that when a little past

midnight I am so overwhelmed by fatigue, that I

become unsteady on my feet – then I

say to myself – "you have drunk yourself into

a lovely intoxication – just make sure to keep on your feet, so

that no one notices", and fatigue can

actually function like intoxication and a stimulus

for me, so that I can continue to work – until

the brush suddenly streaks across

the picture, – then I must stop in order

not to ruin anything more. And when I

speak of ruining – I am reminded of remember 

how wretchedly I worked last night.

I was terribly tired, and when it was a little past

midnight a magical atmos-

phere infused nature – a bright silvery

magical night – the grass silver-green spattered

with pink and violet – the marigold leaves became pale

blue and the marigolds nearly white. I looked

at my canvas – it appeared insipid to me –

things that I was previously very satisfied with before,

seemed impossible to me now, – no I must

grasp this enchanting atmosphere –

I painted furiously – painted over the entire

foreground – until I began to freeze

to such an extent, that I could not continue – it 

was then I discovered the cause of the en-

chanting atmosphere: – each blade of grass and 

flower was covered in hoarfrost – all of the

leaves were white or pale blue from a layer

of frost – and I had ruined the picture. – 

Today or rather last night I struggled to

rectify the damage, but the marigold leaves and stems

are curled and bent from yesterday’s

nocturnal frost – and the year is waning, so

the marigolds and therefore the motif will soon disappear.

I have never before seen frost like this in summer.

II

I had set such great store in

this motif this year – it was going to be

better than any of my previous pictures

of the same motif – perhaps it might

still be – I have also worked

during this period – I have worked on

canvas stretchers, stretching and priming

canvases during the day and it is strenuous and

tiring work, – especially stretching

a canvas, which often has to be done over

again, if the canvas is askew, 

and then a frame might break

during the preparation, as they don’t always

tolerate the taut stretching, which

increases when the canvas is moistened with

primer – and then the work must be done

over again – but I think it feels good

to toil and work until one is quite tired

even though my arm aches, because it is the

only remedy against the nervousness – I 

manage with 4 hours of sleep per 24 hours, but

then I am also constantly tired. If only I

could complete the marigold picture soon,

I could then rest a little again, but

and perhaps obtain a little cash, for Grieg

has promised me one hundred kroner for

a better picture than the marigold picture 

that Meyer has – and then Meyer might purchase

the picture, that Grieg has now. I have

had to submit myself to the humility of borrowing

from father (a large sum for the first time)

Here there are motifs everywhere you look – increasingly

hot during the day and more than wintery

cold during the night; – but I will

keep to the picture, that I have

begun, no matter how many other

motifs I observe – it is strange,

that I have to struggle so with

this motif now – I should know

it intimately from before, – but I believe

a motif worsens the more pictures,

I paint of it – this is now the 4th,

and then again I am probably out of prac

practice when it comes to painting, since I

have been so ill – so it is 

laborious to begin with, but my stomach

is on the mend now and then – the nervousness as well,

so perhaps I will make progress.

You mentioned in one of Your letters that you have

the crate – in which the three pictures were

shipped this fall – would You be so kind

as to send it to Förde, – then write

a few words regarding how much I owe

You for the shipment and transport of my

pictures in Bergen. I have not done

anything about Knùdsen yet – I am concerned about

my bad conscience – I would

prefer to be free now, that I shall be working.

I will conclude for today – if I sit

still for too long the nervousness 

returns. If I can sell something this summer

I will build two small cabins next to

the one I have, if You do not think

the accommodations here are too simple, it would

please me, if You would stop by to see me 

this summer. Engel asks me to say hello, she is ill – 

coughs incessantly. With best regards. Your Astrup

Envelope, front:

To

    Mr Headmaster Sigùrd Höst

Velhavens gd. 30

Bergen