Waterfall and Mills

undefined undefined undefined, 1923 - 1923, 640 x 950 mm

Sparebankstiftelsen DnB

A foaming white river separates into many rapids as it cascades down the mountainside. A bridge leads from the left in the picture to a little island. Along the rapids are small mills, where grain is ground into flour with the help of hydropower. The mills were a vital part of agriculture in Jølster up until the early 20th century, and every farm had the right to set up one of their own. Already in Astrup's lifetime, agriculture had begun the process of modernisation, and today most of the mills in Jølster have disappeared.  

These rapids form part of the river Drivet in Stardalen in Jølster. This was an area Astrup wandered around in when searching for a motif. Among other things he writes about hikes around this area in the summer of 1917 and the autumn of 1920 - and in the summer of 1922 he went there together with Hans E. Kinck and Ludvig Ravensberg. Among other motifs from this area are Fond in Jølster (K22) and The Cave (N). 

I 1925 Astrup refers to the painting “’the waterfall’ from Stardalen” in a purchase inquiry from Georg von Erpecon via Hans Jacob Meyer in Bergen, and it is presumably this painting that is in question. The deal did not go through, and when Astrup died in 1928 Waterfall and Mill was one of several unsigned paintings left in his studio at Sandalstrand. Engel Astrup tried to sell the painting in the Commemorative Exhibition in 1928, but it is unknown if or when it was sold. The provenance up until 1955 is unknown.  

The painting is signed “N. ASTRUP” in brown at the bottom left, but this is a secondary and posthumous signature. It is reasonable to think that the signing was done in connection with the sale to increase the value, as Engel Astrup was left with large debts after her husband’s death in 1928. Several of the works that are listed as “unsigned” in the exhibition catalogue from 1928 have a similar signature in red or brown paint, although technical analyses that might reveal whether the same pigments have been used have not been made. 

The motif was originally smaller than today’s format. A piece of canvas has been joined on the right, and covers nearly the entire tree that grows up by the stones in the foreground. There is a photograph of the painting before the expansion in the photo collection left by Per Kramer. Astrup had presumably discussed the composition with his friend, before he chose to enlarge the format. This section appears unfinished.  

1923-1928:

Nikolai Astrup

(1880-1928)

1928-n.d.:

Engel Astrup

(1892-1966)

-1955-1985-:

-1994-2005:

Exhibition_history

Separate_exhibition

1928-10-10 - 1928-11-4

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Bergen

107

See_exhibition

1928-11-11 - 1928-12-9

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Kristiania (Oslo)

107

See_exhibition

1955-1-10 - 1955-12-31

Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt

Oslo

100

See_exhibition

1956-11-2 - 1956

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928

Stockholm

52

See_exhibition

1971-1-13 - 1971-2-2

Nikolai Astrup

Oslo

30

See_exhibition

1987-5-23 - 1987-9-30

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928

Åmot

45

See_exhibition

1994 - 1994

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Stavanger

39

See_exhibition

1994-9-17 - 1994-11-13

Nikolai Astrup. Tradisjon og overskridelse

Oslo

39

See_exhibition

2011-5-14 - 2011-9-11

Nikolai Astrup: Å møtast på ein klote, på ein stad

Rosendal

16

See_exhibition

2017-3-3 - 2020

Nikolai Astrup Ut av skyggen

Bergen

See_exhibition

Group_exhibition

1940-11-6 - 1940-12-1

Ni malere fra århundreskiftet

Oslo

38

See_exhibition

Bergens Kunstforening, Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Mindeutstilling. A/S John Griegs Boktrykkeri. Bergen, 1928, 17.

Bergens Kunstforening, Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Mindeutstilling. A/S John Griegs Boktrykkeri. Bergen, 1928, 17.

Haugsbø, Tove Kårstad, Nikolai Astrup (1880–1928). Å møtast på ein klote, på ein stad. Baroniet Rosendal. Rosendal, 2011, 63.

Kunstnernes Hus, Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt. Kunstnernes Hus. Oslo, 1955, 25.

Kunstnernes Hus, Nikolai Astrup. Malerier og tresnitt. Kunstnernes Hus. Oslo, 1955, 14.

Nordiska Konstförbundet, Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. Konstakademien. Stockholm, 1956, 30.

Kunstnerforbundet, Nikolai Astrup. Malerier, tresnitt. Kunstnerforbundet. Oslo, 1971, upag.

Stiftelsen Modums Blaafarveværk, Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928. [s.n.]. Modum, 1987, 54.

Loge, Øystein, Nikolai Astrup: tradisjon og overskridelse. Quorum & Artes. [Høvikodden], 1994, 33.

Loge, Øystein, Nikolai Astrup: tradisjon og overskridelse. Quorum & Artes. [Høvikodden], 1994, 33.

Kunstforeningen i Oslo, Ni malere fra århundreskiftet. [s.n.]. Oslo, 1940, 9.

Loge, Øystein, Betrothed to Nature. Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo, 2010, 207, 205.