Today we would like to talk a little about Peter Nicolai Arbo, a Norwegian painter who delighted in Nordic themes, primarily taken from Norwegian history and North-Germanic mythology. The pretty lady falconer in the featured image is Ingeborg, one of the main characters in the Frithiof’s Saga, and isn’t she lovely?
Here is a self portrait of Peter Nicolai Arbo:
Arbo was a painter of the romantic period, but not a landscape painter, for a change. He concentrated more on people and animals, including larger scenes like his version of the Wild Hunt, possibly his most well known painting:
Peter Nicolai Arbo was born on June 18, 1831, in Gulskogen Manor in eastern Norway, where he also grew up. Today, the manor is part of Drammens museum and many of Arbo’s paintings are exhibited in its beautiful rooms.
Arbo’s artistic education took place in Copenhagen and Düsseldorf before returning to his home country. He, like Asher Durand, is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. All through Arbo’s career, he was involved in the Norwegian art scene, and he was appointed two separate Norwegian Knight’s titles in his lifetime. Peter Nicolai Arbo died on October 14, 1892 at the age of 61; at the time of his death, he was still the director of the Christiana Art Society, a post he had held for ten years. Below one of Arbo’s historic paintings:
Here is another painting from Norse mythology, depicting a personified element of the cosmos, as is common in mythology: Dagr, the god “Day”, on a magnificent white horse.
My favorites of his painting are the featured Ingeborg (see again below for an uncropped version) and the following painting of Liden Gunvor Og Havmanden (Liden Gunvor and the Merman). It’s a literary painting, but I am not sure which story it portrays. It could be based on a medieval ballad like Agnete and the Merman.
And here once again Ingeborg: