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"Woodpecker", Theodor Kittelsen - description of the painting

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Woodpecker - Theodor Kittelsen.

In the 1890s, the artist created the book Black Death, dedicated to the plague epidemic in Norway. One of the creepy illustrations to her was the gloomy black and white drawing of “The Pauper” - a deceased wanderer on a forest road, over which a flock of ravens circled.

In 1912, two years before his death, Theodor Kitttelsen painted the picture "Woodpecker", very similar to the old image. However, how different they are from each other!

On the canvas is the northern coniferous forest on a sunny day. No bright colors, only calm and muted tones. Majestic mighty firs and slender pines rise to the sky. Their dark green crowns intertwine at the top, creating twilight. The ground is overgrown with thick grass, only mossy stumps stick out in some places. In the depths of the thicket an impenetrable wall is a branched shrub.

A ray of the sun breaks through dense branches and breaks up into many sun flares, staining faded tree trunks. Bright spots of light lie on the sandy road, sparkling with soft tints on the side of the road. A wide sandy path is lost in the mysterious depths of the thicket. Peace and equanimity.

But the forest does not seem lifeless. A lone black woodpecker sits on an old pine tree next to the path. A sonorous knock disperses the midday silence reigning around. And yet, something does not give a sense of tranquility and serenity to fascinate you.

Vague shadows gliding along the moss-covered tree trunks hide in the darkness. Shreds of weightless fog like small ghosts flicker among the distant dark bushes. The elusive movement is fancied in the broken branches of pines. The whitish old stump near the road, overgrown with lichen, can turn into a forest monster at any moment. The play of light and shadow draws us vague figures, while hidden from us, but ready to appear at any moment.

The world of magical northern legends unfolds before us, captivates us with its mysterious charm. The fabulous and beautiful soul of Norway lives in this drawing.

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