Johannes S. Kjarval

About the artist
Johannes S. Kjarval holds a special place in Icelandic art history and culture as one of the most highly regarded artist of the nation. He was a living legend and by many considered the ultimate romantic bohemian artist. His roots lay in the old Icelandic rural community, but his life and art are tightly bound to the cultural awakening of the nation in the first half of the 20th century. Kjarval is famous for his interpretation of Icelandic nature. He captured the beauty and the mystical quality of the land. His landscapes express a comprehension of nature based on the gift for entering into it and perceiving it from within, along with a strong sympathy for all living things that inhabit it. His depiction of lava emphasizing its surface and tactility gave a new dimension to the Icelanders' perception of nature and brought its close and unassuming details to their attention.

The Kjarval Collection
Before his death in 1972 the painter Johannes Kjarval donated a large collection of his work to the city of Reykjavik. This collection consisted largely of sketches, drawings as well as paintings and several personal belongings of the artist. This donation was the main motivation for the making of - Kjarvalsstadir - which was inaugurated in 1973. From the beginning the intention was to devote one exhibition hall to the works of Kjarval. Throughout the years the Kjarval collection has grown considerably by acquisitions and by generous gifts by individuals. It now consists of 3.348 works; 3.189 drrawings and 159 paintings.

Books about Kjarval
All the museum stores at the Reykjavik Art Museum, Kjarvalsstadir, Asmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum and the Hafnarhus, have books about Kjarval, his artwoorks and his career.



Jóhannes S. Kjarval
Johannes S. Kjarval.

Jóhannes S. Kjarval, Esja, 1959
Johannes S. Kjarval,
Esjan í vorleysingum.


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