Theodor Kittelsen

Theodor Kittelsen

He was not only remembered as a painter, but also as a genius of an illustrator - his masterful drawings infused vitality and life into publications of old fairytales.

His favorite tools were pencils and ink, he varied the pressure and created thinner and thicker lines and sometimes showed them at cross angles - why try to explain it?

Have a look at the drawing on this page and see for yourself.

The drawing bears the caption: "Something flapped and whirred in the air, and all the wild ducks came sweeping in"

It is an illustration for the fairy tale "The Twelve Wild Ducks".

We can not repeat the entire fairytale here, but you have been given the keywords to find it for yourself.

In his works Kittelsen had an imagination that was unstoppable. He conjured out of the secenes in nature mystical appearances of supernatural beings - trolls and creatures entirely imaginary.In a painting of a foaming waterfall, for example, you can discern the images of heads of trolls peering out of the watery foam.

One of his drawing depicts a troll sitting pondering how old he may be. It is the drawing shown to the left - we see the "Troll that wonders how old he is."

It is one of the latest drawings from the hand of Kittelsen.

Several volumes of fairy tales have illustrations by him, and he is rightly admired for his ability to breathe new life into the old stories.

His legacy is the ability to show trolls and sprites, fairy tale princesses and "askeladden" (the poor boy that made good) the way they are supposed to look and appear.

Which brings us to his paintings.

The painting here "Watersprite" (directly translated) is an example of the way Theodor Kittelsen could create images.

The water sprite is a kind of troll that lives in the water.

Here he created an image giving visual expression to the mystery that dwells over a silent forest pond during a summer night.

Kittelsen's friend Christian Skredsvig said after his death: "It seems desolate after Kittelsen. There was only one, and there is not going to be anyone like him either."

Above: Kittelsen's version of the Norwegian Nisse

Theodor Kittelsen

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