Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1910-05-14 til 1910-05-15

Transkripsjon:

Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse:

Francesca Nichols

Side

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

Brev

Astrup, Nikolai til Høst, Isabella
1910-05-14 til 1910-05-15
Brevs.531-67502, Nasjonalbiblioteket

9 sider

Transkripsjon: Tor Martin Leknes

Oversettelse: Francesca Nichols

Transkripsjon

     Aalhùs Pinseaften 

      Kjære frù Höst!

Tak for Deres brev; jeg er saa ner-

vös for tiden, forsöger at male lidt

om dagene men magter det ikke

paa grùnd af den overhaandtagende

nervösitet; paa grùnd af samme

veed jeg heller ikke, hvad jeg skal

skrive til Deres svoger – jeg ved-

lægger et ùdkast til et brev – som

De kan kassere eller sende efter-

som De <synes> – ùndskyld, hvis der

er noget deri som De ikke liker.

De spörger om jeg ikke har gamle

ting som jeg kùnde tilbyde galleriet –

– jeg skal have to gamle studier som

var ùdstillede paa min Bergens ùdstil-

ling: det gamle mandshode (som "Asor"

forresten likte) og en "halvact" kvindelig

figùr i profil; men begge dele er for-

svùndne, saa jeg maa tale med saa-

vel Skagen som Johannessen og Irgens

bùreaù derom, naar jeg kommer til

Bergen. Saa jeg bör til Paris –

synes De og; jeg har jo været der –

jeg kjender den franske kùnst og

er ligefrem lei af den og var

dengang allformeget inde paa deres

farveoplösnings principer – jeg gik

paa academi Colarozzi, hvor hr.

Chr. Krohg dengang var professor,

og jeg dùperede saavel Krohg og

eleverne som de andre lærere ved

min voldsomme kolorit – saa at

Krohg endog sagde: "jeg skammer

mig for at skùlle agere lærer for

Astrup" – alle mine acter og studier

blev hængt op rùndt væggene til

mönster for de andre elever – jeg hav-

de grùndig studeret Gaùgin, Claùde

Monet og den frie ùdstillings kunst-

nere, – jeg fór aldeles med i malström-

men, indtil jeg fik se den ùnge –

den yngste af alle retninger: Roùseau

og Denis – da fik jeg pludselig öinene

opladte – og jeg fik den voldsomste

afsky for den kùnstige kolorit, som

pùnctùalisterne og de andre farveop-

lösnings malere brugte (for at skaffe

de "lyse skygger" blandt andet) og jeg

svor i mit hjærte, at jeg aldrig mere

skùlde komme ind paa den slags mere

og det gjör jeg enda – Werenskiold tiltrods.

Mùnch var jo ogsaa en kort tid

inde paa pùnctùalisternes oplösnings-

princip – men han er jo siden gaaet

helt andre veie – heldigvis – saadanne

principper kan höve for malere,

som i mangel af farvesyn paa natur

og fordi mangler sans for farvens fin-

hed i en stemning {…} maa skjùle

sig bag en vibration af farve; – akùrat

som en italiener, der for at sjùle sin

falske stemme maa lade sin sang dirre

eller vibrere saa ingen kan höre, hvor

tonen akùrat ligger. Sligt kan passe

for slige skidt malere og haandtværkere

som Severin Grande – en skomager-

lærling, som jeg meget godt erindrer

fra Kristiania, da han begyndte som

aùktionsmaler – og tog brödet fra os

ùnge kunstnere, som gik der og sùltede;

siden er han bleven stor maler – har

faaet alle de störste {…} stipendier – og

jeg har hvert aar maattet opleve den

dræpende ærgrelse, at Bergens kùnst

forening har kjöbt et billede af denne 

gamle hallùnk der bogstavelig talt

"burde være bleven ved sin læst."

Laùreng gav ham og hans staldbrödre et 

glimrende navn: "Pùddermalerne" eller

"pùdretten" som de senere blev kaldt. De

anvendte af forsigtighed dette {…} farve-

oplösnings princip saa smaat, at deres farve-

pùnctualisme blev til smaaprikker eller

et pùdder af alle mùlige farver; der er gaaet

skole i dette oprindelig frie kùnstssystem. 

II

jeg er Dem meget taknemlig for at

De vil skrive til mig, naar Mùnch

holder ùdstilling – jeg vil da vente med

at reise til Bergen til da.

  Tak for at De vil være saa elskvær-

dig at sælge billeder for mig, men

De skal ikke kaste bort Deres tid

for min skyld – i en by har man altid

for liden tid – det kjender jeg godt til

af erfaring. Rigtignok er jeg i penge-

knipe for tiden, men jeg har god kredit

her – farver og materialer til sommer-

malingen – faar jeg skaffe mig, naar jeg

kommer til Bergen – forresten har jeg

kredit hos Alf Bjerke i Kristiania

men jeg skylder ham 10-12 kr. fra

i fjor, som jeg ikke har vidst om för nù,

da jeg netop fik regning fra ham – han

veed, at jeg altid betaler, jeg faar kort fra

ham hver jùl, men han nævnte sidst

intet om, at jeg skyldte noget. Der kommer

altid en eller anden liden klatgjæld dættende

paa de ùbeleiligste tider. Det er pinse-

aften i kveld – pinseklokkerne ringer – der

er vaar og solnedgangs lys over de hvide

fjelde – jeg blir endnù mere nervös af

det – fordi jeg ikke kan arbeide.

Alt er saa "<fint> og <skjært>" nù siger

De – ja det er altfor vakkert – jeg tör ikke

male det, – thi begynder jeg paa et, ser

jeg straks noget som er endnù vakrere.

  Alex. Birger Grieg vil have mig til

at male om igjen sit billede; kvinde-

figùren generer ham – jeg har tilbùdt

ham at male et motiv lignende sòlei-

natten – större og bedre end det gamle og

saa bytte med ham, saa kan jo Rasmùs

Meyer faa Griegs billede – dertil svarede

Grieg at han vilde give 100 kr. mere,

om jeg vilde bytte og skaffe ham et bille-

de af soleinatten, som var bedre end

det förste soleibillede, som nù Rasmùs

Meyer har. Han fortalte ogsaa, at Meyer

absolùt vilde have hans billede og havde

tilbùdt ham at bytte med et billede som

Meyer havde af Heyerdal – men Grieg refùse-

rede hans tilbùd i det han forlangte det

gamle soleibillede isteden. Nù har jeg

tænkt mig mùligheden af at Grieg kùnde

<ùderkjende> det billede, jeg eventuelt kan

komme til at male af samme motiv,

som Meyer har af soleimotivet – jeg vil da

forsöge at male det saa godt, at jeg mùlig-

ens kùnde faa Meyer til at bytte sit

gamle med mit Nye soleibillede saa

kunde Grieg kanske tilfredstilles, naar han

fik det gamle billede, som han nù flere

gange har talt om, at han ærgrede sig

over, at han ikke fik. Pinsedag

Jeg kom ikke længere i gaaraftes, nervösiteten

tog mig saa hardt – den blir værre og værre

saa fik jeg atpaa et hardt kvælningsanfald

i nat – det er dog nù over – men ikke

nervösiteten – den er frygtelig – denne "onde

samvittighed" uden bestemt grùnd – "nag", kùnde

jeg kanske heller kalde det. Undertiden har

jeg dog en grùnd – saaledes kom her en mand

en dag og var i yderlig nöd og bad mig laane ham

100 kr. – jeg havde bare 50 kr. godt –, saa sagde

jeg for förste gang bestemt nei – og manden

gik; – da fik jeg slige frygtelige samvittigheds-

kvaler, at jeg troede jeg skulde blive sindsvag – og

saa maatte jeg springe efter manden og give ham

mine sidste 50 kr. – Siden kom jeg i endnù

större samvittigheds nöd, fordi jeg ikke turde

fortælle Engel, – hvad jeg havde gjort. Lignende

har hændt mig mindst 10 gange för; men

jeg lærer alligevel aldrig – jeg har over tùsend kr.

tilgode hos kunstnere og fattigfolk – og jeg söger ofte

at tröste min "onde samvittighed" med, at hvis jeg

har stor skyld paa debet siden hos Wor Herre eller

hvem det nù er – saa har jeg jo aldrig krævet

nogen af mine skyldnere – og maa vel derfor have

lidt paa credit siden ogsaa – men dette er jo

hvad de herrer Theologer kalder egenrætfærdighed. 

Vil De ved leilighed være saa elskværdig at sende

mig en flaske sprit – det er den drygeste vare af

denslags – og jeg maa pröve lidt alkohol for min nervösitet

Undskyld, at jeg plager Dem. Hils Deres mand og datter

  Lev vel Deres hengivne Astrup

Konvolutt, framside:

Til

Frù Isabella Höst

Adr. Hr. Overlærer Höst

Welhavens gate 30

Bergen

Oversettelse

     Aalhùs Whit Sunday 

      Dear Mrs. Höst!

Thank you for Your letter; I am so ner-

vous of late, attempt to paint a little

during the day but don’t have the strength to

due to overwhelming

anxiety; for the same reason

I don’t know either, what I should

write to Your brother-in-law – I en-

close a draft of a letter – which

You can discard or send which-

ever You <think> – I apologise, if there

is something in it that You dislike.

You ask whether I have old

things that I might present to the gallery –

– I should have two old studies which

were shown at my Bergen exhibit-

tion: the old man’s head (which "Asor"

liked incidentally) and a "half-length" nude female

figure in profile; but both have dis-

appeared, so I must speak to both

Skagen and Johannessen and Irgen’s

bureau about it, when I come to

Bergen. So I should go to Paris –

in Your opinion as well; but I have been there –

I am familiar with French art and

am honestly tired of it and was

then far too involved in their 

colour resolution principles – I attended

the Academi Colarozzi, where Mr.

Chr. Krohg was professor at the time,

and I duped Krohg as well as

the pupils and the other teachers with

my overwhelming coloration – to the point that

Krohg even said: "I am ashamed

of performing as a teacher for

Astrup" – all of my nudes and studies

were hung up around the walls as

examples for the other pupils – I had

carefully studied Gaùgin, Claùde

Monet and the independent art-

ists, – I joined wholeheartedly in the maelstrom

until I saw the new – 

the newest of all movements: Roùsau

and Denis – then my eyes were suddenly

opened – and I was overcome with intense

disgust for the artificial coloration, that

the pointillists and the other colour-

resolution painters employed (to achieve

the "light shadows" among other things) and I

vowed in my heart, that I would never

again engage in that sort of thing any more

and I still do not – notwithstanding Werenskiold.

Mùnch was also for a brief period

into the pointilists’ resolution

principle – but he has since gone in

a very different direction – fortunately – such

principles might be suitable for painters,

who for lack of a sense of the colours in nature

and because lacks a feel for the nuance

of colours in an atmosphere {…} must hide

behind a vibration of colours; – just

as an Italian, in order to conceal his

dissonant voice must force his voice to quiver

or vibrate so that one cannot hear, exactly

where the tone lies. This kind of thing is suitable

for such awful painters and craftsmen 

as Severin Grande – a cobbler’s

apprentice, whom I remember very well 

from Kristiania [Oslo], when he began working as an

auction painter – and stole the bread from us

young artists, who were starving;

since then he has become a great painter – has 

received all of the biggest {…} stipends – and

each year I have had to suffer the

extraordinary exasperation, of watching the Bergen Art

Association acquire a picture by this 

old moron who literally 

"should have stuck to his last."

Laùreng gave him and his chums a 

brilliant nickname: the "Powder Painters" or

"the poudrettes" as they were later called. Out of

trepidation they employed this {…} colour

resolution principle so minimally, that their colour

pointillism resulted in small dots or

a powder of every possible colour; this originally free

artistic practice has generated its own school. 

II

I am very grateful to You for agreeing

to write me, when Mùnch

has an exhibition – I will thus wait to

travel to Bergen until then.

  Thank You for being so kind

as to sell pictures for me, but

You must not waste Your time

for my sake – in a city one always has

too little time – I am well aware of this

from experience. Admittedly I am 

broke at the moment, but I have good credit

here – the paints and materials for painting

this summer – I will get hold of when I

come to Bergen – incidentally I have

credit at Alf Bjerke’s in Kristiania [Oslo]

but I owe him 10-12 kroner from

last year, which I was unaware of until now,

as I just received an invoice from him – he

knows, that I always pay, I receive a card from

him every Christmas, but the last time he mentioned

nothing about me owing anything. Some little

dollop of debt always comes raining down

at the most inconvenient of times. It is Whitsunday

Eve this evening – the Whitsun bells are ringing – it

is spring and the light at sunset [sweeps] over the white

mountains – I become even more nervous because of

it – because I cannot work.

Everything is so "<lovely> and <delicate>" now You

say – yes it is too beautiful – I don’t dare

paint it, – for if I begin one, I 

immediately see something that is even more beautiful.

  Alex. Birger Grieg wants me to

paint his picture over again; the female

figure irritates him – I have offered 

him to paint a motif similar to Marigold

Night – larger and better than the old one and

then switch with him, and then Rasmùs

Meyer can have Grieg’s picture – to that 

Grieg responded that he would give 100 kroner more,

if I would switch and procure him a pic-

ture of Marigold Night, that was better than

the first Marigold picture, which Rasmùs

Meyer presently owns. He also said, that Meyer

absolutely wished to have his picture and had

offered him to exchange it with a picture that

Meyer had by Heyerdal – but Grieg refused

his offer since he demanded the

old Marigold picture instead. Now I have

thought of the possibility that Grieg might

<reject> the picture, I might 

eventually paint of the same motif,

that Meyer has of the Marigold motif – I will thus

attempt to paint it so well, that I might

perhaps persuade Meyer to exchange his

old one with my New Marigold picture then

Grieg might be satisfied, if he

received the old picture, which he has several

times mentioned, he was upset 

about not getting. Whitsunday

I got no further yesterday evening, the anxiety

clutched me so severely – it gets worse and worse

on top of that I had a severe choking seizure  

last night – but it is over now – though not

the anxiety – it’s horrible – this "guilty

conscience" without any particular cause – "remorse", I

should rather call it. Though sometimes

there is a cause – such as when a man arrived here

one day and was in dire straits and asked me to lend him

100 kroner – I had only a little over 50 kroner –, so for

once I responded with a firm no – and the man

left; – I then had such pangs of con-

science, that I thought I would go mad – and

then I had to run after the man and give him

my last 50 kroner. – Later I experienced even

greater pangs of conscience, because I didn’t dare

tell Engel, – what I had done. Similar things

have happened to me at least 10 times before; but

just the same I never learn – I have more than a thousand kroner

outstanding with artists and poor folk – and I often try

to alleviate my "guilty conscience" with [the argument], that although I

have a large account on the debit side in Our Lord’s eyes or

whoever – I have never demanded 

anything of my debtors – and must therefore have

a little on the credit side as well – but this is 

what the gentlemen Theologians call self-righteousness. 

Will You when You have the time be so kind as to send

me a bottle of liquor – it is the most economical of

that kind of beverage – and I must try a little alcohol for my anxiety

Forgive me for bothering You. Greetings to Your husband and daughter

  Be well Your devoted Astrup

Envelope, front:

To

Mrs. Isabella Höst

Adr. Mr. Headmaster Höst

Welhavens gate 30

Bergen