Christian Krohg's Naturalism
- PUBLISHED: February 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Scandinavian Studies, Art History / European Art
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 256 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 72 b&w illus., 16 color plates
- SERIES: New Directions in Scandinavian Studies
- ISBN: 9780295749198
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
The Norwegian painter, novelist, and social critic Christian Krohg (1852–1925) is best known for creating highly political paintings of workers, prostitutes, and Skagen fishermen of the 1880s and for serving as a mentor to Edvard Munch. One of the Nordic countries’ most avant-garde naturalist artists, Krohg was influenced by French thinkers such as Émile Zola, Claude Bernard, and Hippolyte Taine, and he shocked the provincial sensibilities of his time. His work reached beyond the art world when his book Albertine and its related paintings were banned upon publication. Telling the story of a young seamstress who turns to a life of prostitution, it galvanized support for outlawing prostitution in Norway—but Krohg was also punished for the work’s sexual content.
Examining the theories of Krohg and his fellow naturalists and their reception in Scandinavian intellectual circles, Øystein Sjåstad places Krohg in an international perspective and reveals his striking contribution to European naturalism. In the process, Christian Krohg’s Naturalism provides an unparalleled account of Krohg’s art.
Authors & Contributors
Øystein Sjåstad is associate professor of art history at the University of Oslo. He is author of Christian Krohg: Fra Paris til Kristiania and A Theory of theTache in Nineteenth-Century Painting.
List of Illustrations
1. Christian Krohg, the Radical Naturalist
2. Naturalism, the Dark Side of Realism
3. The Heroism of the Scientist
4. Hippolyte Taine and the Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavia
5. Christian Krohg in Skagen: Painting according to Taine
6. Naturalism and the Beholder: Sympathy and Theatricality
7. Naturalist Paragone: Literature and Painting
8. Albertine in the Police Doctor’s Waiting Room: Panopticon, Spectacle, Speculum
9. Modern Pessimism: From Naturalism to Symbolism
Epilogue: Naturalism Is Dead, Long Live Naturalism!
Christian Krohg’s inventiveness, cosmopolitanism, and progressive politics will surprise many English-speaking readers. Sjåstad’s book will surely insert Krohg into any serious future study of later nineteenth-century art, expanding the geography of modernism and the contours of Naturalism.- Patricia G. Berman, author of In Another Light: Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century
Sjåstad’s dynamic study blends keen analysis of paintings with an illuminating discussion of Naturalism, placing Krohg securely among the finest of Europe’s Naturalists.- Linda Haverty Rugg, University of California, Berkeley
The book is extremely rich in its panoptical overview and fills a major gap as the first English-language book-length study on Krohg.- Reinhold Heller, author of Munch: His Life and Work and Munch: The Scream
Thoroughly researched and cogently written, Christian Krohg’s Naturalism will be the authoritative study of Krohg for decades to come.- Michelle Facos, author of Nationalism and the Nordic Imagination: Swedish Painting in the 1890s