(P1) He should be as famous as EDVARD MUNCH, but the world seems to have forgotten him – until now. Nikolai Astrup is getting his first major show outside Norway … and his visions of the Scandinavian landscape are EERIE and SUBLIME.

(P2) Norway’s LEGENDARY modern artist who captured his country’s FANTASTIC LANDSCAPES is about to be CELEBRATED.

(P3) It’s Nikolai Astrup – a legend in his own land, but BARELY known outside of it. In fact, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in London, is hosting the first significant show of Astrup’s work ever held outside Norway. Will it make him as famous as Munch, his CONTEMPORARY?

Astrup 3

(P4) It sometimes seems as if the world only has room for one great Norwegian artist. Astrup was born in 1880 and died in 1928, while Munch was born in 1863 and died in 1944. It is impossible to avoid comparing the two, because both are EXPRESSIONISTS who take the real world and TRANSFIGURE it in BLAZING, LURID colours. They even have a favorite theme in common: the strange light of summer evenings, when the warmth of the far north makes everything look like a fairy tale or a dream.

(P5) But there is one big difference: Astrup is so much brighter – not just in colour, but also in mood. Just because he is NORDIC does not mean he is NOIR. In fact, this artist – whose style has a ROUGH-HEWN, WOODCUT-like quality – is not very “modern” in some ways. His true appeal is that he captures the drama, both sublime and PASTORAL, of the Norwegian landscape.

Astrup 2

(P6) The gentleness of Astrup’s vision – his love of nature and IDYLLIC images of RURAL life – is surely what makes him so loved in Norway.

(P7) This exhibit offers a chance to BROADEN our knowledge about SCANDINAVIAN art outside Scandinavia.

(P8) We like our Scandinavian art to be INTENSE and VISIONARY. Is Astrup is too happy an artist to satisfy that demand? I hope not, because he is a painter whose work is worth getting to know.

WORDS: 334



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Who is the most famous visual artist from your country?
  3. When was the last time you went to an art show at a museum or ART GALLERY?
  4. Do you have any art on the walls of your home?
  5. Have you ever painted pictures yourself? What kind of paint do you use – watercolor or oil?
  6. The article mentions Astrup’s FONDNESS for the Norwegian summer. What is your favorite season of the year?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Rough-hewn
  • Art gallery

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