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Portraits


Portrait paintings bear witness, not just to the artistic ideals of a period, but also to how people of a given period wished to appear. Whilst portraits of kings display dignity and distance, portraits of artists often seek a more direct, psychological contact with the viewer. An example of this is Daniel by Astrid Nørregaard. In this work there is no haughty arrogance or stiff posture, but rather a relaxed and open approach, as a friendly and egalitarian gesture; cheers!

With the introduction of photography in the middle of the 19th century, the specific features of a painter’s style attained greater importance within portrait painting. The choice of painter could thus function as a way of making a social and intellectual stance. Edvard Munch’s portrait of Advokat Ludvig Meyer was commissioned by the lawyer himself. Meyer, however, who was associated with the progressive milieu of bohemian Kristiania, perhaps thought the portrait too radical and eventually dismissed the result. A few years later Trondhjem Kunstforening had the opportunity to buy the portrait and it has since been a part of the collection. (On display in the corridor.)