Archive for the ‘Visual Arts of Norse Inspiration’ Category

Victorious March!

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I’m not sure whether this painting is saying, “We are coming to destroy everything in our path!” or “We have just destroyed everything in our path!”, but either way, if this isn’t a victorious march of some sort, then I don’t know what is. John Charles Dollman wasn’t dicking around when he painted these Vikings 100 years ago. He imbued them with noble glory, and that glory still lives on today, even though most people don’t even know it exists. There’s a lot to lament about in that statement, but rather than spiral downward into an eternal pit of despair, why don’t we take a look at another victorious march while we’re on that topic:

Or this one, which is what inspired me to post an entry relating to victorious marches today of all days anyway in the first place. It just goes to show, that in some cases, despair is not always eternal!

(I pilfered the photo from the Boston Globe’s honorable photo montage.)

Fenrir was Bound on Asköy

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Remember how Loki got really wild one night—even by his standards—with a giantess, who then ended up giving birth to a wolf and two other monsters? And how that wolf then grew and grew and grew till the gods finally feared him so much that they made the decision to shackle him down on an island far away? Well, I had not realized, but in the twentieth century, the sculptor Arne Vinje Gunnerud tried his own hand in the binding of Fenrir, on the island of Asköy near Bergen in Norway. And I’d say he succeeded quite well. He probably didn’t even lose an appendage in the process, and that is worthy of a mighty skål indeed.

The Saga of Biôrn

Friday, April 1st, 2011

I discovered this video while browsing the web for matters of importance and came across it over at the Norse and Viking Ramblings blog. The video itself though is a student project made by members of the class of 2011 at The Animation Workshop in Denmark, and it’s about Biôrn’s quest to enter Valhalla. It is only 7 minutes long and you will both laugh and weep during the course of its glorious playback.

Hail to the graduating students at The Animation Workshop!

Valentine’s Day Romance: Epic Norse Slaughter

Monday, February 14th, 2011

No, not that kind of romance. There are no hearts to be found here, unless you count the kind that have been brutally carved out of the chest cavity in the midst of unstoppable berserker rage. That’s right, we’re talking about the national romanticism kind of romance that was popular back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

One Norwegian guy, Gerhard Munthe, was pretty into Norse history back in those days and he glorified the epic naval Battle of Hjørungavåg in this mighty tapestry, now housed at Norway’s National Museum of Decorative Arts. Thousands of Norwegians and Jomsvikings were slaughtered and the sea off the coast of Sunnmøre turned red with their blood. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.

The Realistic Old Norse Art of Howard David Johnson

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Here’s a badass image of Beowulf standing in front of Heorot, fantasizing about all the various ways in which he might brutally slay Grendel:

This little bit of artistic glory comes courtesy of Howard David Johnson, a contemporary artist specializing in mixed media who often chooses historical epics and myths as his themes of choice. In fact, his website features a whole page devoted exclusively to his work based on Norse mythology, and you should probably go visit it if you enjoy that sort of thing. Some of the pieces may not be as compelling as others, but there are enough cool ones to make it a fun place to browse. Here’s another that I like a lot, called Kreimhilde’s Revenge, based on the Volsunga Saga/Nibelungenlied:

Loki in the Buff

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Check out this crazy painting by Mårten Eskil Winge of Loki’s punishment for being a dick (and while we’re on that topic, let me just say I approve of Winge’s decision to obstruct Loki’s dong with his thigh; good call there):

Winge is actually more famous for this painting he did of Thor beating some giant ass with his mighty hammer, but I also like this painting of Loki’s punishment. I think Winge did a good job of capturing Loki’s insanity and the snake is pretty cool. I do kind of wish however that he had a scar from the venom dripping on him each time Sigyn has to go and empty her pan, but maybe he does and it’s just hard to tell viewing it on a computer screen.

Seducer of Haunting Swedish Wave Maidens

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Back in the 1800s this Swedish guy Nils Blommér got really good at painting images from Norse mythology and folklore, like the one above, which features a näcken (Swedish for neck, which in turn is apparently the English term for a male nixie) surrounded by the daughters of Aegir. I think it gives us a pretty good idea of the sort of eerie, moonlit recreational activity that the old näcken and certain wave maidens enjoy partaking in. Needless to say, that’s some pretty hardcore strumming that’s going on there.

There unfortunately doesn’t seem to be a good, quality source about Blommér online, but check out these other works of his on wikipedia because they are also worthy of your attention.

Thor Goes Fishing at Mariatorget

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

See that? Thor’s holding his mighty hammer up above his bushy red head, getting ready to bring it crashing downwards into the Midgård Serpent’s godforsaken skull, all because that’s simply what Thor does when he goes fishing with giants. But alas, he isn’t perfect, and he lets this catch get away. Serpents are slippery bastards and giants can never be trusted. …Hail onwards »

Medieval Magical Mystery Tour

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Roll up, roll up, roll up for the medieval magical mystery tour! The medieval magical mystery tour’s Vikings are dying to take you and everything that you hold dear away…

So I just had a chance to see this quirky, little animated movie with a neat visual style called The Secret of Kells. The plot is about the writing of the Book of Kells and is set against a medieval backdrop of Irish monasticism and mythology, dark and magical Irish forests, and, best of all, the omnipresent threat of bloodthirsty Vikings.

Yes, that’s right, this medieval magical mystery tour has got everything you need, so satisfaction is…mostly guaranteed. Turns out that the Vikings here are portrayed as horned demons with gray beards. Oh, the indignity of such misrepresentative animation! Why couldn’t these Vikings have had blond or even red beards like they’re supposed to?

Hans Gude and His Viking Ships

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Back in the 1800s when he was still alive, Hans Gude had a fetish for painting the Norwegian landscape. And one time he even gratified himself with Vikings, as shown above.

The painting’s now hanging out at the Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo.

Norse Marauders Wreak Mayhem

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Here’s a badass painting of Norsemen conducting some intensive slaughter in Ireland by artist Tom Lovell:

Good Tom apparently dealt mostly with cowboys, but when he decided to take on the Vikings, he did so with all the glory of a stark raving mad berserker, only he was armed with a paintbrush instead of a massive medieval battleaxe. The smoky, warmongering palate of this painting pairs well with mead and the music of Amon Amarth.

Gothic Metal at Millesgården

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Behold Katatonia’s The Longest Year music video!

It features eerie images of Carl Milles’ sculptures from Millesgården, located on the island of Lidingö, just outside of Stockholm. If you pay close attention, you’ll even notice a replica of his Poseidon, which resides in Gothenburg. And as we all know (or should know, but probably don’t), Gothenburg is the city made so famous by the Gothenburg Sound.

Hail to Norwegian Neo-Norse Architecture

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Behold the Dalen Hotel:

Wow, right? Or maybe just eh, depending on your mood and how much you like buildings that imitate medieval Scandinavian stave churches like the one at Borgund, which is probably the most famous of them …Hail onwards »

Celebrate the Solstice with John Bauer

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Photobucket“Holy shit, Tyr just stuck his hand in the wolf’s mouth!…Sweet.”

That, I think, is the effect John Bauer was going for in this piece. He was really good at this sort of thing, and it’s unfortunate that he’s dead. But then that’s just one of the natural side effects of being born over 100 years ago, regardless of whether you drown in a boat accident or not. Visit Art Passions or the John Bauer Museum to discover some more of his amazing artwork featuring scenes from Norse mythology and Swedish folklore.

Epic Faroese Postal Art

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

The Faroese Philatelic Office has released a number of beautiful stamps depicting scenes from Norse mythology, among other things relating to Faroese life.

If you wish to see these works of beauty, click here .

And here is Anker Eli Petersen’s homepage where you can find more images/info (he’s the artist).

For those not in the know, the Faroes are an autonomous group of North Atlantic “sheep islands” under Danish sovereignty located between Iceland, Norway, and Scotland: