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Georg Jacobsen (1887-1976) Haren, (The Hare) 1922

Purchased in 1962 with funding from Minister H. H. Bachke’s Gift.

Haren is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces in the Trondheim kunstmuseum collection. With its radical organisation of the pictorial space it was perceived as a provocation at the time it was painted. Few works in the collection have so often been mentioned as an important source of inspiration as this work.

Oysters, bananas, vegetables, birds and wine appear to be in motion in the kitchen interior of the Danish artist and professor Georg Jacobsen. Apples roll down from the table, and we can perceive a motion by means of the rhythm of the motif and the use of lines. The various forms, colours and lines are forged together to make up a composition monument where the hare thrones at the top – the only element which is perfectly still. Everything is carefully placed to achieve pictorial order. The painting has been painted on a wooden board, and close examination will reveal that the work is also a bas-relief.

Jacobsen himself explained that his works sprung from a need to create order – a desire to use more actively the picture surface and the pictorial space by means of geometrical figures. Like other artists, for instance Cézanne, he worked on several parts of the canvas at the same time, and subsequently brought the parts together to a whole by means of geometrical figures. His theoretical base has a firm grounding in studies of the old masters’ rules for constructing a picture: principles of geometrical composition and most importantly the golden section – which he regarded as the eternal laws of painting. Jacobsen wrote several books on these topics, and his masterpiece The Hare has been composed in strict accordance with these principles.

An extensive exhibition that presents Georg Jacobsen’s art will be shown at Trondheim kunstmuseum in the autumn of 2021. The exhibition is a collaboration between Trondheim kunstmuseum, Ribe Kunstmuseum, and Fuglesang Kunstmuseum in Denmark. Jacobsen has had a great impact on Norwegian art, and his ideas of construction and how to build a picture has had a great impact on many Norwegian artists, not least through his position as professor at the art academy in Oslo. The exhibition will offer a unique chance to experience the richness of Jacobsen’s works and to see how he clearly has inspired younger generations. 

Haren was purchased from Jacobsen’s solo exhibition in Trondhjems Kunstforening in 1961. The painting cost 13.962,95 Norwegian crowns and the purchase was made with means from Minister H. H. Bachke’s Gift – one of many proofs of what this generous donation made possible and what it has added to the collection.

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