Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1918-02-21

Transkripsjon:

Turid Hagelsteen

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
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  • 9
Transkripsjon
Oversettelse

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1918-02-21
Brevs.531-66477, Nasjonalbiblioteket

9 sider

Transkripsjon: Turid Hagelsteen

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

Sandal 21/2 1918

                   Kjære frù Höst!

Tusend tak for Deres venlighed mod mig og

Engel i Kristiania. Nù er vi da endelig hjem-

me igjen – vi hadde en deilig tùr – lidt sùrt og

koldt havde vi det jo fra vi kom til Bergen,

hvor vi frös alle nætter saa jeg næsten ikke fik

sove – vi bodde paa det elendige missionshotel – 

det ligger jo saa beleiligt for fjorddamperne – 

ellers vilde jeg aldrig bo der. Turen opover til Jölster

var ogsaa alt andet end behagelig. "Jeg tror vi 

reiser tilbage Østlandet igjen", sa Engel og jeg 

flere gange – ja vi havde det jo saa storartet

derborte – jeg havde bare ond samvittighed for

at jeg havde taget imod og brùgt Deres penge –

jeg stod fra först af i den tro at de 1000 Kr. var

et forskùd paa en bestilling. (Undskyld mig at jeg

brùger blyanten – her er blækmangel i bygden).

Jeg tænkte altsaa nærmest at de 1000 Kr. var

et forskud paa en bestilling – det foresvævede mig

rigtignok at de 1000 Kr. var for det billede ment,

som jeg skulde skaffe Dem, – jeg tænkte mig

altsaa mùligheden deraf – men at De skulde

mene det som betaling for træsnittene som jeg

nù ser af Deres brev – det havde jeg aldrig

tænkt – og det maa De heller ikke mene

det vilde gjöre mig ondt om De nù skùlde

betale mig for de træsnit jeg nærmest har

prakket ind paa Dem – jeg har jo aldrig for-

talt et eneste menneske at De har faaet

træsnittene hos mig – De har jo ogsaa betalt

mere end nogen andre i form af arbeide og

stræv – og naar De nù absolùt vil betale

mig for noget – saa vil jeg ikke fornærme Dem 

ved at sende pengene tilbage men lad det da

være for det billede De har bestilt – De spör-

ger hvorfor jeg ikke har sendt Dem noget billede –

det er simpelthen fordi jeg ikke endnù har havt

noget som jeg syntes var godt nok for Dem – 

det billede som jeg sendte til Ørvik var jeg 

riktignok i tvivl om jeg ikke hellere burde sendt

til Dem – men jeg haabede da at kùnne gjöre

noget bedre – det var lidt tungt – og passede 

da kanske ikke til Deres lysere ting. Men 

jeg indrömmer nù at det var en stor feil af

mig ikke at sende det til Dem först saa De

i allefald fik se det – men jeg var jo ogsaa bange

for at plage Dem med forsendelse til Ørvik igjen

og samtidig skrev Kaland stadig til mig at

jeg maatte sende det til ham. Det gjör jeg ikke oftere.

II

Nù da jeg ved hjemkomsten fik Deres brev

som kom hid et par dage efter at vi var

reist – nù saa jeg hvor vanskeligt det

er at skrive ùden at en misforstaaelse

kan komme til at opstaa – man bùrde

kanske aldrig skrive – bare tale med sine

venner – jeg vil undgaa alle forklarin-

ger – jeg skal ùndgaa at retfærdiggjöre

mig – jeg vil kùn idet jeg takker Dem 

for brevet faa lov at nævne en eneste

ting – Engel synes jeg maa gjöre det –

det gjælder nemlig: at De maa aldeles

have misforstaaet mig eller rettere jeg 

maa have skrevet ùtydelig naar De

kùnde faa det indtryk at mit brev til

Dem i anledning af salget af "Vaarnatten",

at det "aandet en del af kritik" – jeg var – 

hvad baade Engel og min ven skolelærer Fond

kan bevidne – ùmaadelig glad – da jeg ende-

lig fik vide at det var Deres billede som 

var kommen i galleriet. Jeg blev ikke

som De siger – "ùnderrettet derom af andre" "(inden De fik skrevet til mig" o.s.v)

– det skal jeg fritage alle og enhver for –

Jeg læste i et Bergens blad at Galleriet

havde erhvervet et ældre billede af Astrup

"Vaarkveld" tror jeg det blev kaldt. Det var

min ven Nikolai Berg som kom hid til

mig og viste mig bladet og gratùlerede mig

med at jeg nù endelig var kommen i Bergen 

Billedgalleri – jeg blev forbaùset og ùndred

mig paa hvad det kùnde betyde og hvad

det skulde være for et billede – jeg blev 

mere og mere nervös – og tænkte over hvilke

"vaarkvelder" jeg vel havde begaaet – det

var jo noksaa mange – jeg tænkte straks

paa at det mùligens var et daarligt bil-

lede – hverken Engel eller jeg kom til at

tænke paa Deres billede – men jeg blev

mere og mere sikker paa at det var et af

mine gamle billeder "Vaaarkveld" fra Sogn

som jeg solgte til en tandlæge Rolseth i

Bergen – et billede som jeg ikke önskede at

være representeret ved i galleriet –  

III

For at faa greie paa dette skrev jeg sam-

me dag til Dem og Kaland som jeg vidste 

var i Galleriets styre – og bad baade Dem

og Kaland ùnderrette mig om hvad det var

for et billede – jeg bad Kaland beskrive 

hvordan det saa ud og i tilfælde om det

ikke var noget godt billede da at nedlæg-

ge en protest fra mig mod at det blev

hængt op i galleriet. Kaland skrev et

meget hùmoristisk brev tilbage, hvori

han til en begyndelse ærtede mig med at

insinùere noget om at det var en for-

falskning – "dù gaar vel om dagene og

ærgrer dig over dette nù – og ùndrer dig

over hvem der har lavet denne falske

Astrup" o.s.v. sligt og lignende skrev han

men fortalte saa tilslùt hvilket bil-

lede det var – straks efter fik jeg ogsaa 

brev fra Dem – og der faldt en sten fra

mit hjærte da jeg hörte at det ikke var

tandlægens billede som var havnet i gal-

leriet. Og De faar tro mig eller ikke – men

det er sandt – at der fandtes ikke i min sjæl

noget som kùnde kaldes vrede eller kritik mod 

Dem – det kan Engel bevidne ogsaa – deri-

mod faldt det mig ind at jeg havde nævnt

noget om protest forinden jeg vidste hvilket

billede det var – og det faldt mig ogsaa

ind at Kaland kùnde benytte sig af denne

eventuelle protest og – (med eller mod sin vilje)

sætte ond mellem Dem og mig ved at fortælle

at jeg havde protesteret mod salget. – Derfor 

skrev jeg straks igjen til Dem og sögte at

forklare – som jeg troede jeg bùrde – hvordan 

det havde sig med denne eventùelle protest.

Hvad jeg altsaa dengang skrev til Dem

forat forebygge en mùlig misforstaaelse

har altsaa kanske ledet til en virkelig

misforstaaelse. 

Af Deres sidste brev faar jeg imidlertid ind-

tryk af at det var mit förste brev som 

skulde indeholde nævnte "kritik"; – det brev, siger

De, hvori jeg spùrgte om hvilket billede det

var Galleriet havde kjöbt af mine ældre

ting. Hvis det forholder sig saa at det var

mit förste brev De opfattede slig – da synes

jeg at saken er klar og min ùskyldighed bevist: –

thi mit förste brev kùnde ùmùlig indeholde

IIII

nogen "kritik" overfor Dem al den stund

jeg dengang ikke havde den ringeste ahnelse

om at det var Deres billede galleriet

havde kjöbt.

At mit andet brev kùnde misfor-

staaes kan jeg tænke mig, men det var

virkelig kùn skrevet for som nævnt at hin-

dre en misforstaaelse og for at gjöre en ùnd-

skyldning for min eventuelle protest som

jeg havde fremfört for Kaland uden at vide

hvilket billede det gjaldt – jeg tror ogsaa 

at jeg i samme brev udtalte min forstaa-

else af og sympathi med hvad De havde 

gjort for min skyld – der var i allefald

ikke fra min side ment noget i den

retning som De antyder – jeg var kùn glad

over at det var som det var – og ikke som 

jeg frygtede: – nemlig at det var tandlæ-

gens billede som var kommen i galleriet.

   Jeg skal ikke nævne mere om dette da jeg

bare plager Dem mere dermed. Et par ord til

maa jeg dog faa lov at sige: Aldrig har nogen

"mistænkeliggjörelse" af Dem havt nogetsom-

helst "held" hos mig – det kan Engel

ogsaa bevidne: at jeg altid har været

forarget over sligt enten det kom fra

Kaland eller Krantz – og Engel vilde gjerne

fortalt Dem adskilligt derom men jeg 

har bedt hende ùndgaa det. –

Efter at have læst Deres sidste brev og seet

hvad De troede er jeg dobbelt forbauset over 

Deres elskværdige modtagelse af os i Kristiania og

Engel beder mig hilse og takke Dem tusende

gange – det samme har jeg ogsaa trang til.

I dag fik jeg Kr. 500 fra Hr. Maschmann

er det bestilling paa noget? Engel siger at

hùn har hört Dem og Prytz tale om at han 

havde tænkt at sende mig en gave – er det

saa og isaafald er det vel Dem jeg har at takke – 

Skal jeg takke Hr. Maschmann dennegang?

De nævnte sidst at "det skulde bare mangle at jeg 

havde takket ham" (for hans store kjöb af træsnit)

Jeg fik idag ogsaa brev fra Kinck, han var be-

geistret over visitten hos Dem og over mine træ-

snit. Ja nù skal jeg gaa igang med de 2 serier

træsnit og kanske et par nye – og saa det, De mangler.

Med tusende hilsener til Dem og Höst fra Deres

hengivne Engel og Nikolai Astrup

Hils Inger!

Konvolutt, framside:

Til 

Frù Lolly Höst

Adr. Overlærer Sigùrd Höst

Meltzers gate 7

Kristiania

Oversettelse

Sandal 21/2 1918

                   Dear Mrs. Höst!

Many thanks for Your kindness towards me and

Engel in Kristiania [Oslo]. We are finally home

again – we had a lovely trip – a bit damp and

cold though after we arrived in Bergen,

where we froze every night so that I could not

sleep – we stayed at the terrible mission hotel – 

it is located very conveniently near the fjord steamers – 

otherwise I would never stay there. The trip up to Jölster

was also anything but pleasant. "I think we 

should return to East Norway", said Engel and I 

many times – we had such a great time

over there – I only had a bad conscience

because I had accepted and used Your money –

I believed from the start that the 1000 Kr. was

an advance on a commission. (Forgive me for

using a pencil – there is a shortage of ink in the village).

In other words I thought the 1000 Kr. was

an advance on a commission – it occurred to me

to be sure that the 1000 Kr. was for the intended picture,

that I would obtain for You, – at least I

imagined that possibility – but You 

intended it as payment for the woodcuts which I

now see from Your letter – I would never have

thought that – and You must not believe that either

it would pain me if You should now

pay me for the woodcuts I practically

imposed on You – I have never told

a single person that You have been given

woodcuts from me – You have also paid

more than anyone else in the form of work and

effort – and when You now absolutely wish to pay

me for something – then I do not wish to offend You 

by sending the money in return but let it 

be for the picture You have commissioned – You ask

why I have not sent You a picture –

it is simply because I do not yet have

anything that I feel is good enough for You – 

the picture that I sent to Ørvik I was 

admittedly in doubt whether I should send it instead

to You – but I had hoped then that I could make

something better – it was a bit sombre – and thus 

possibly did not fit in with Your brighter things. But 

I admit now that it was a big mistake on

my part not to send it to You first so that You

might at least see it – but I was also afraid

of inconveniencing You with forwarding things to Ørvik again

and at the same time Kaland wrote incessantly to me saying that

I must send it to him. I will not do it again.

II

When upon my return home now I received You letter

which arrived here a few days after we had

left – I understood how difficult it

is to write without the possibility that a misunderstanding

might arise – one should

perhaps never write – only speak with ones

friends – I wish to avoid all explana-

tions – I shall refrain from justifying

myself – I will only permit myself as I 

thank You for the letter to mention one single

thing – Engel thinks that I should –

it concerns in fact: that You must have

completely misunderstood me or rather I 

must have written unclearly when You

might get the impression that my letter to

You concerning the sale of "Spring night"

that it "had an air of criticism" – I was – 

something both Engel and my friend the schoolteacher Fond

can testify to – immensely happy – when I final-

ly learned that it was Your picture that 

had been accepted by the gallery. I was not

as You say – "informed of it by others" "(before You wrote to me etc.")

– that I absolve all and sundry for –

I read in a Bergen paper that the Gallery

had acquired an older picture by Astrup

"Spring evening" I believe it was called. It was

my friend Nikolai Berg who came here to

my home and showed me the paper and congratulated me

with the fact that I had now finally been included in Bergen 

Billedgalleri – I was astounded and wondered

what this might mean and what 

picture it might possibly be – I became 

increasingly nervous – and thought about which of the

"spring evenings" I had executed – there

were quite a few – I immediately thought

that it might be an inferior pic-

ture – it did not occur to either Engel or me to

think of Your picture – but I became

more and more certain that it was one of

my old pictures "Spring evening" from Sogn

which I had sold to a dentist Rolseth in

Bergen – a picture that I did not wish to 

have represented in the gallery – 

III

In order to get to the bottom of this I wrote the

same day to You and Kaland whom I knew 

was on the board of the Gallery – and asked both You

and Kaland to inform me of what 

picture it might possibly be – I asked Kaland to describe 

its appearance and in the event it was

not a good picture to submit

a complaint from me prohibiting it

from being hung in the gallery. Kaland wrote a

very amusing letter in response, in which

to begin with he teased me by

insinuating that it might be a coun-

terfeit – "you spend your days now

agitating about this – wondering 

who it might be who has made this fake

Astrup" etc. so on and so on he wrote 

but informed me in the end which pic-

ture it was – immediately after I received 

a letter from You as well – and then a weight fell from

my shoulders when I heard that it was not

the dentist’s picture that had ended up in the gal-

lery. And You may believe me or not – but

it’s true – that there was nothing in my soul

that might be called wrath or criticism against 

You – Engel can testify to it too – on the

other hand it occurred to me that I had mentioned

something about a complaint before I knew which

picture it was – and it also occurred to me

that Kaland might take advantage of this

possible complaint and – (intentionally or not)

cause bad feelings between You and me by saying

that I had complained about the sale. – That is why

I immediately responded to You in an attempt to

explain – as I thought I ought to – the

circumstances of this possible complaint.

What I wrote to You then

in order to prevent a possible misunderstanding

has perhaps indeed led to a real

misunderstanding. 

From You last letter however I get the impres-

sion that it was my first letter that 

supposedly contained the "criticism"; – the letter, You

say, in which I asked about which picture it

was the Gallery had purchased among my older

things. If it was

my first letter You perceived in this way – then I

believe the case is clear and my innocence proven: –

for my first letter could not possibly

IIII

contain "criticism" of You since at that time

I did not have the slightest clue

that it was Your picture the gallery

had purchased.

That my second letter might be misunder-

stood I can now imagine, but it was

truly only written in order as mentioned to pre-

vent a misunderstanding and in order to apolo-

gize for my potential complaint which

I had submitted to Kaland without knowing

what picture it was – I also believe 

that in the same letter I expressed my understand-

ing of and sympathy for what You had 

done for my sake – in any case there was

no intention on my part of anything

close to what You are suggesting – I was only pleased

that things were as they were – and not as 

I had feared: – that is to say that it was the den-

tist’s picture that had been taken in by the gallery.

   I shall not mention this again as I

would only bother You more by doing so. A few more words

I must nevertheless be permitted to say: Never has any

"discrediting" of You had any

"footing" whatsoever in me – Engel can

also testify to this: that I have always been

indignant over such a thing whether it came from

Kaland or Krantz – and Engel would gladly

speak at length to You about that but I 

have asked her to avoid doing so. –

After having read Your last letter and understood

what You believed I am doubly astounded by 

how kindly You received us in Kristiania [Oslo] and

Engel asks me to send You greetings and thank You

profusely – I have the same urge myself.

Today I received Kr. 500 from Mr. Maschmann

is it a commission for something? Engel says that

she has heard You and Prytz say that he 

had thought of sending me a gift – if it is

true and in that case it is You I have to thank – 

Shall I thank Mr. Maschmann this time?

You mentioned the last time "that it was only natural that I 

should have thanked him" (for his acquisition of woodcuts)

I also received a letter from Kinck today, he was ex-

cited about the visit with You and about my wood-

cuts. Well now I shall begin work on the 2 series

of woodcuts and perhaps a couple of new ones – and then those You are lacking.

A thousand greetings to You and Höst from Your

devoted Engel and Nikolai Astrup

Say hello to Inger!

Envelope, front:

To 

Mrs. Lolly Höst

Adr. Headmaster Sigùrd Höst

Meltzers gate 7

Kristiania [Oslo]