Theodor Kittelsen

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Theodor Kittelsen - the painter of fairytales and trolls

He was not remembered just as a painter, but as one who drew legendary illustrations of the Norwegian fairy tales. His favorite tools where pensil and ink, these he used with supreme mastery.

He varied the pressure and made thinner and fatter strokes, more open and more tight strokes and created cross patterns.


He modeled forth the landscape structure and the fine nuances of light playing on his subjects to create lyric moods with the simplest of means.

The drawings are enormously meticulous in their execution and an unstoppable imagination steered his creative hand.

Out from nature grow strange fantasycreatures and an interpretation of supernatural moods occupying a mystical world where the boundaries between dream and reality are erased.

After eleven years abroad, a winter in Paris, among other places, he returned to Norway the summer of 1887. He went to the island of Skomvaer on the outskirts of Lofoten. There he lived with his brother in law who was the operator of a lighthouse. Here, far away from the hustle and bustle of cities, he found himself as an artist.

He created the "Sprite" (a troll living in water)and found expression for the mystique that dwells over a still forest pond on a summer evening. With Erik Werenskiold he illustrated a volume of "Fairytales for Children". In all the years since then they have shown children and grownups how trolls, spirits, fairytale princesses and "askeladden" really appear and how they should look.

Theodor Kittelsen

Kittelsen: Mystery of a forest pond on a summer night