NIKOLAI ASTRUP – a Biography
 
  1880 Nikolai Astrup was born at Kalvåg vicarage in Bremanger in Nordfjord.
His parents were the clergyman Christian Astrup and Petra Astrup, née Mørch Lodtz.
 
  1883 The family moves to Ålhus in Jølster where his father had been appointed vicar.
  1895 Entered Kathedralskolen (The Cathedral School) in Trondhjem.
  1897 Graduated from Kathedralskolen, the classical side, in Trondhjem. Returns home to Jølster; tutor for his siblings. Begins drawing and painting by himself; pictures from the vicarage, banners and ornamental patterns.
 
  1899 In the autumn Astrup entered The Drawing School in Kristiania. Nude studies and etching experiments under Johan Nordhagen’s tuition. Enters Harriet Backer’s private art school in Kristiania. Nude and head studies; also as oil paintings. During his holidays Astrup visits his home in Jølster to paint local motives.
 
  1901 Astrup’s exhibitor debut at Kristiania Art Society’s spring exhibition with ”Autumn Rain in the Mountain Parish” painted in 1900. The motive is the outhouses at Jølster vicarage. This painting is now in the National Gallery in Oslo.
Graduates from H. Backer’s art school. In November he receives a travel grant from Schou’s Scholarship and sets forth on a study tour. Visits art collections in Luebeck, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin and Muenich. Arrives at Paris towards Christmas and becomes an apprentice at the Academie Colarossi where Christian Krogh becomes his tutor. Takes interest in Henri Rousseau, Maurice Denis, Paul Gauguin and Hokusai.
 
  1902 Returns home with the intention to settle down in Jølster for good. The testimonial from
Christian Krogh says: ”I believe of him, that he will become the one who most strongly will contribute to the due recognition of Norwegian art both at home and abroad”.
Most of the time up to 1911 Astrup resides at Jølster vicarage.
 
  1904 Astrup’s first wood engravings; ”Small Self-portrait” and ”Waterfall and Glacier”.
  1905 In May Astrup held his first separate exhibition at Blomqvist’s Art Shop in Kristiania. A truly convincing success; enthusiastic reviews. ”Old Storehouse in Jølster” purchased by the National Gallery at the recommendation of Eilif Peterssen.
At Werenskiold’s recommendation, Astrup was commissioned to illustrate Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s Bondefortellinger (Country tales) published by Gyldendals Forlag in Copenhagen. He makes numerous pen drawings over the period 1905-1907, but then abandons both the commission and the drawing technique.
 
  1906 Invited by Werenskiold to participate in ”Group I” at ”Norwegian Art Exhibition” at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.
 
  1907 Got married to Engel Sunde. She moves in with him at the vicarage.
  1908 Travels to London in January, financed by Henrichsen’s Legacy. Makes his own studies and observations in various art galleries. Particularly fascinated by Constable. Returns home at the end of April and opens his second separate exhibition at Bergen Art Society. Enthusiastic reviews and several sales; among others to Rasmus Meyer’s art collection.
 
  1911 His third and last separate exhibition; - at The Artists’ Association in Kristiania in January. Enthusiastic reviews.
In February Astrup travels to Berlin financed by Houen’s Legacy. During his home journey in the spring, he paints motives from Astrup Gård in Schleswig where his ancestors came from.
The birth of Astrup’s first child; his daughter Kari.
 
  1912 The family - and their maid - move to their new house at Myklebust.
  1914 Leaves Myklebust owing to controversies with the landowner. Moves to Sandalstrand, but continues to use the studio at Myklebust, 3 kilometres away from Sandalstrand.
 
  1916 Travels to Copenhagen and Stockholm together with Moritz Kaland and Nils Krantz. Pays prince Eugen a visit.
  1919 Being awarded a travel grant from Conrad Mohr, but the journey has to be postponed due to illness and
other reasons.
 
  1922 Travels together with his wife Engel to Algerie via Germany and Italy.
  1923 Returning home via Paris in the spring.
  1928 Dies from pneumonia on 21st January, 47 years old. Astrup suffered from tuberculosis and asthma through most of his life.
 
  1964 Jølster municipality purchased Astruptunet for 270 000 kroner to create a permanent museum
for Nikolai Astrup’s life and work.
 

 

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