Storehouse in Jølster

undefined undefined undefined, 1902 - 1905, 660 x 990 mm

Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design

A storehouse stands at the centre of the picture on a foundation of thick, coarsely hewn timber posts. It is painted in foreshortened perspective and placed in the middle of a cluster of old farm buildings. The wood exterior is wet, and reflects the daylight in shades of silver-grey and blue. Beneath the sod roof we can see the lining made of birch bark, curling around the cornices and holding the rain out. Between the buildings, a birch tree glows in yellow tones, while the branches of the leafless rowan hang, weighed down by the red berries. The colours evoke the smell of dampness and decay, and are harbingers of autumn’s decomposition. 

Storehouse in Jølster depicts part of the farmyard at the Ålhus parsonage in Jølster. Klipperfossen (Kleberfossen), which can be seen cascading down the mountainside on the left, is a familiar landmark, along with the mountain Grøneneven, the snow-clad Blåfjellet in the middle, and Hegrenesfjellet to the right. Although the established and descriptive title points to the characteristic storehouse as the main subject of the painting, the title that Astrup used in the exhibition in 1905 is worth mentioning: “Dismal Autumn Day”. This brings into focus the atmosphere and the painterly execution of the landscape. The atmosphere is chiefly defined by the heavy, cold rainy day, and the colour scheme creates a discordant and ambivalent expression in the work. The buildings in the farmyard look like mute beings in the raw landscape. The doors are closed, and the peepholes are few, small and dark. The motif has clear references to Farmyard in Jølster (K25; 1902), Rainy Weather Atmosphere (K73; 1902–1908) and Autumn Rain in a Mountain Village (K188; 1901), which all revolve around the same theme of rainy weather.

Storehouse in Jølster was exhibited in Astrup’s first solo exhibition, which was housed in Blomqvist Art Dealers in Kristiania (Oslo) in April 1905. Although the artist did not consider the picture one of his best in the exhibition, it received particular attention from the critics. The painting was purchased by his colleague Eilif Peterssen for 120 kroner. Peterssen even encouraged the painter Gerhard Munthe, who was artistic advisor for the National Gallery, to consider the work for the national museum’s collection. Munthe quickly wrote a recommendation to the administration, emphasising that “The picture is undoubtedly the Expression of what Astrup feels and aspires to, and I know from Experience how likely it is, that Astrup will become removed from the Intimacy, which presently characterises his Art”. The National Gallery approved the acquisition, and Astrup thus became represented in the nation’s art collection at the young age of 25. 

The artist does not write directly about this painting, yet reflects on what he calls “autumn colours” in his notebook Blandede motiver (Miscellaneous Motifs). In one colour composition he juxtaposes nuances of blood red, orange, crimson, a pinkish white and blue with olive-green, yellow, olive-blue and violet. The colours were alternately matt and glossy in order to create an atmospheric effect. Some of the same effect can be traced in this painting. The colour scheme resembles that used in Farmhouse in Jølster (K25) and Autumn Rain in Mountain Village (K188). 

n.d.-1905:

Nikolai Astrup

(1880-1928)

1905-1905:

Eilif Peterssen

(1852-1928)

Exhibition_history

Separate_exhibition

1905-4-1 - 1905-4-30

Nikolai Astrup

Kristiania (Oslo)

[5]

See_exhibition

1928-10-10 - 1928-11-4

Nikolai Astrup. Mindeutstilling

Bergen

119b

See_exhibition

1956-11-2 - 1956

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928

Stockholm

14

See_exhibition

1987-5-23 - 1987-9-30

Nikolai Astrup 1880–1928

Åmot

9

See_exhibition

2016-5-1 - 2016-5-5

Nikolai Astrup Painting Norway

London

11

See_exhibition

2016-6-10 - 2016-9-11

Nikolai Astrup Norske Landskap

Oslo

11

See_exhibition

2016-10-2 - 2017-1-22

Nikolai Astrup: Norwegen. Eine Entdeckung

Emden

11

See_exhibition

2021-6-19 - 2021-9-19

Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway

See_exhibition

2021-10-15 - 2022-1-23

Nikolai Astrup. Rå natur

See_exhibition

2022-2-19 - 2022-5-28

Nikolai Astrup. Visioner av norsk natur

See_exhibition

Group_exhibition

1942-4 - 1942-5

Kunst og ukunst

Oslo

43

See_exhibition

1964-5-4 - 1964-6-6

Jubileumsutstilling 1814–1964

Oslo

72

See_exhibition

Onsager, Søren, Kunst og ukunst i Nasjonalgalleriet. Oppryddingen april 1942. Det Mallingske Boktrykkeri. Oslo, 1942.

Loge, Øystein, Betrothed to Nature. Det Norske Samlaget. Oslo, 2010, 137, 110, 136, 187, 228.