Erik Werenskiold

Having recently been slandered, and accused of being a geek (A geek! Me?) I thought it was about time to share with you all my artistic side. And to do that I thought I would provide a link to a beautiful painting that we saw when we were in Oslo last year (or was it the year before that?) This painting totally captured my imagination, and I haven't seen anything as good in years. It is called "Peasant Funeral" by Erik Werenskiold, a Norwegian painter, about whom there is very little in English that I could find.


It doesn't do the picture justice, since it is the eloquence of the expressions that catches the heart. Here's a pic I snapped with my phone, which again is not good enough to convey what I saw, but might give you a glimps of Werenskiold's skill and insight.

This picture makes me think of the quiet strength and dignity that Gray alludes to in his poem "An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard". In the details you can see the misery in this man's face, uncomprehension in the face of the child, and helplessness in the faces of the other mourners. you can see that he's lost a loved one and can't see how to cope with it, but knows that he must.

I guess it also weirds me out because the main character looks like my dad!

2 thoughts on “Erik Werenskiold

  1. This picture is a mighty one… It depicts not only sorrow and mourning, but also the poverty of the Norwegian peasantry. An interesting fact: The guy presiding over the funeral isn’t a priest, but a theological candidate from the university. This adds to the diversity of this beautiful painting.

  2. I didn’t know that. Is there a source of information (in English) on Werenskiold’s work? I looked everywhere, and found nothing other than adverts for prints.
    What exactly is a theological candidate? Is it a “trainee priest”?

Comments are closed.