Arctic Mythology: From Norse to Finland to Inuit- (Jake waggle)

This gallery shows pieces from different areas of the arctic cultures. Starting off with the most popular Norse mythology, then we move on to the myths and legends of Finland, and last we touch a story from the Inuit culture. Some of these pieces are similar because some may be done by the same artist since the arctic cultures are a bit scarce when it comes to art, but this is why I chose this as my focused gallery. I hope you enjoy.

Starting with Norse mythology Marten Eskil Winge's "Tor's Fight with the Giants" depicts the Norse god Thor creating thunder and lightning. The myth states he does so when he becomes angry. This is an Oil on Canvas painting that emphasizes on Thor in the center. Notice how he is show brighter than everything else on the image. He has this divinity given to him. You can also see the motion captured through Thor's movements and the lightning coming down as he swings his hammer, Mjollnir.
Here we have Hermann Ernst Freund's "Thor Resting with his Hammer". The title kind of says what is going on here, the Norse god of thunder is resting with his hammer. This is a marble sculpture from the early 1800s. It is interesting to note that Thor looks rather peaceful in this piece. Normally, Thor is portrayed in the middle of battle, angrily creating thunder and lightning as he rides in on his chariot, but here he is just kind of resting.
Here is another on of Hermann Ernst Freund's pieces titled "Loki". Loki is a god of trickery and deceit. He is depicted here in patinated plaster with kind of a hunched over elusive posture and bat wings. This really just portrays the untrustfulness of mankind in this work of art.
Next is a painting by Nils Jakob Blommer titled "Hemdall returns Brisingamen to Freyja". Brisingamen is a necklace that translates to "Jewelry of Fire". Freyja had Brisingamen stolen from her by Loki, and it was returned by Heimdall (on right). Notice the coloring here in the painting. The gods and goddesses have almost unnaturally pale skin. This was to emphasize the power and purity that the gods represented.
Another painting of Nils Jakob Blommer titled "Idun and Brage". Here we have the Idun, the goddess of spring or rejuvenation. She is always depicted with apples, which give eternal youth to the other gods. Brage is her husband, the god of poetry, and he is know as the artists' favorite god, and ironically often depicted as an old man. Notice the background around Idun and Brage, and how it is a rather dull brown and grey color. This is to bring out the beauty and detail in Idun and Brage here.
Moving on from Nordic mythology to a kind of folktale, here we have August Malmstom's "Dancing Fairies". It's interesting to point out that the folklore states that the people dancing within the mist are not actually fairies, but elves instead. This oil on canvas painting beautifully has a movement in the mist with also being able to notice the elves dancing within it. This may be my favorite piece in this gallery, mainly because I love this morning landscape that appears to just be a normal sunrise, but there lies mysticism as well.
Moving from Swedish to Finnish. Here is Akseli Gallen-Kallela's "Aino Myth, Triptych". This depicts a myth titled "the Kalevala". In the side panels, you see the old man, Vainamoinen, propose to Aino, the woman. She refuses to marry him and later, the old man goes on a fishing trip. The fish begin to transform into the image of Aino to mock him. This painting is very interesting and beautiful because it depicts three different key events in this story and there is so much going on even tho there doesn't appear to be much detail included on the characters faces. Notice how there is a lot of action included as well with the old man reaching outside his boat.
Another one of Akseli Gallen-Kallela's works on the same national epic, the Kalevala. Here we have Kullervo, an orphan who is sold to serve an evil mistress as a cattle herder. Kullervo seeks revenge on the mistress after she breaks the only thing the boy has left of his father. The boy then summons animals, and they eat her. This ends in a tragedy where the boy meets his demise as well. This painting is wondrous because of how it manages to combine the horrid tragedy in the story with the beauty of this image. Notice the light illuminating the expression on the boys face. His pose as well isn't natural. He is doing this to curse the evil mistress.
Here is the last of the Finnish pieces."Imatra in wintertime is a landscape oil on canvas painting of the Imatra rapids. This area became a symbol for the mythical land of Finland, which managed to birth many folklore and legends of the wonders of the Finnish land. Notice how so much is coloring and images stand out in this painting even though the majority is white. Look at the way the rapids move in the painting and how it emphasizes the last of the green trees with heavy snow mounted on top of them.
Lastly, here is a touch of the Inuit art "Sedna And Walrus" by Osuitok Ipeelee. There are many variations of Sedna's story, but all have similar elements. Sedna is on a boat in a severe storm, the boat capsizes and she loses her fingers along the way. The sculpture here depicts Sedna riding on the back of a walrus. Notice how this piece keeps the stillness of Sedna on the walrus. Notice the way she is leaning back, her eyes closed, and the walrus covering her hand with missing fingers. Notice how Ipeelee did change the coloring of the sculpture to point out the walrus's tusks.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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