Klassiskt och nordiskt : fornnordiska motiv i bildkonsten 1775-1855
Sammanfattning: The subject of this master’s thesis is depictions of Old Norse mythology and related motifs in the visual arts during the period 1775–1855. The main question of this research is how the motifs were visualized and how the depictions are related to the classical tradition. Three artworks are objects of detailed study: Johann Heinrich Füssli’s painting Thor Battering the Midgaard serpent (1790), Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg’s The death of Balder (1817) and Nils Jacob Blommér’s painting Näcken and the daughters of Ägir (1850). The paintings are compared with literary sources and analyzed in relation to classicism as well as ideas about history and the Old Norse. It is argued that symbols, themes and compositions from the classical tradition, such as the heroic nude, were used by artists to visualize motifs from Old Norse mythology. It is also argued that the depictions, which by previous scholars have been considered primarily classical, are in fact characterized by a resistance against likeness with the Olympic gods and antique costume.
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