Eventyrillustrasjonene, draktene og det nasjonale

Astrid Oxaal


Illustrated fairy tales had their national breakthrough with the publication of Norwegian fairy tales in 1879-1887. The illustrations were regarded as distinctly Norwegian. This article is about the nation-building process that led to this breakthrough. The process is followed through the artistâs use of clothes to create his fairy tale characters, from the very first illustrated fairy tales in the book Nor, in 1838, up until 1879. Historical short stories and fairy tales in Nor make the connection between Norwegian heroes from history and the fairy talesâ Norwegian folk characters. The first illustrations were done by Norwegian artists who had their education from German academies. J. F. Eckersberg started in the 1850s and G. A. Schneider and O. Sinding continued the development of fairy tale illustrations. An artist who in later times has received great attention is E. Werenskiold. He was a true naturalist in fine arts, but also a national romantic. This combination, together with his skill as an illustrator, gave fairy tale illustrations a new position. Werenskiold believed in national values in art and used Norwegian history and the distinct folk culture as a starting point. Th. Kittelsen, who arrived on the scene a while later, used his imagination to create his own reality, without using particularly Norwegian characters. His characters became Norwegian through their peculiarity. Werenskioldâs fairy tale illustrations became generally educational national collective memory for generations after the breakthrough in 1879.

Emneord (Nøkkelord)

eventyr­illustrasjon, karakterer, drakt, 1800-tallet



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ISSN 2387-6727

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