Bonfire Celebrating Midsummer Night by Nikolai Astrup was created in 1912 – 26. The painting is in National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Oslo. The size of the work is 88,8 x 104,9 cm and is made as an oil on paper.
Astrup was wont to reuse images that fascinated him, often reduplicating them several times as paintings and colour woodcuts. For example, he depicted the local Midsummer festivities in several painted versions and in both black-and-white and colour woodcuts. The custom of lighting bonfires and gathering for games and dancing on Midsummer Night was a living tradition with symbolic connotations. Astrup was personally interested in humanity’s interdependence with nature, and the Midsummer Night rituals alluded to the magic forces of nature. Blazing bonfires, dancing, and the picking of wild flowers served both protective and invocative purposes… (read more in National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Oslo)
About the Artist: Norwegian modernist painter Nikolai Astrup was born in Kalvåg. In 1899, Astrup left for Kristiania (now Oslo) where he matriculated as student at the Royal Academy of Design. Astrup quickly left to join Harriet Backer’s painting school where he studied until 1901. Astrup lived in Paris where he studied at the Académie Julian. He was a student of Christian Krohg at Académie Colarossi from 1901-02. Astrup later traveled to Berlin, Dresden, Munich, and Hamburg… Read more