Skip

Theodor Kittelsen
June 6, 2012 1:42 PM   Subscribe


 
These are great. They have such a great feel to them. The past fifteen years have all been about "realistic", stylized, HD monsters and creatures. It's wonderful to see the rougher, more creative ones from the past. Not that they're better or worse! I'm sure they were very similar to the ones made by other people at the time. But, I am really enjoying this, now.
posted by rebent at 1:49 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are absolutely beautiful.
posted by odinsdream at 1:51 PM on June 6, 2012


Seconding odinsdream. These are absolutely lovely.
posted by Kitteh at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2012


That "absolute horror" one is "Pesta i trappa", "The Plague on the stairs", featuring an anthropomorphised version of the Black Plague. It's part of a series of illustrations on the Black Plague and its aftermath. She's frequently portrayed carrying a rake and a broom, because, apparently, where she used the rake, only some people died, but where she used the broom, they all did.

Other images from the series are in this album from the FPP.

Needless to say, Norwegian Black Metal bands have used pretty much all of these as album covers.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:58 PM on June 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


He might be best known today (in some circles, at least) for having drawn the illustrations used as the cover art for Burzum's classic Hvis Lyset Tar Oss and Filosofem.
posted by vorfeed at 1:58 PM on June 6, 2012


Glad to see Kittelsen on Metafilter! Some of his drawings make me wonder: what did he really see ... ? He is one of the few artists who have looked into things that others just imagine.
posted by Termite at 1:58 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love the one in the last link where the giant troll/monster is just kind of strolling down a village street while the townsfolk flee in terror.
posted by owtytrof at 2:02 PM on June 6, 2012


I love the one in the last link where the giant troll/monster is just kind of strolling down a village street while the townsfolk flee in terror.

It's been a while since I've seen it, but I think that image bears a resemblance to the last troll in the great Norwegian film Trollhunter.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops. I meant the image linked by "astonishing."
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:08 PM on June 6, 2012


Longtime fan of this guy. Surprised he hasn't been on here before. Beautiful style.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:09 PM on June 6, 2012


The trolls in Trolljegegan a recent film certainly look like the ones in these pictures. I have to wonder if his art didn't inspire the film makers.
posted by pdxpogo at 2:11 PM on June 6, 2012


That plague album is just haunting.

This one (she left the rake outside) takes on all its meaning with Joakim Ziegler's comment above.

There's something about the quality of the light in this one, with the almost impressionistic quality of the bright sunny day, that makes it all the more horrible.
posted by bgribble at 2:16 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


bgribble: "This one (she left the rake outside) takes on all its meaning with Joakim Ziegler's comment above. "

For extra chills, the title is the matter-of-fact "She sweeps every nook and cranny".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:18 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So eerie. I bet he would have done a great job with Cthulhu!
posted by K0dama at 2:21 PM on June 6, 2012


I think that the trolls in Trollhunter may also be influenced by the similarly amazing works of John Bauer.
posted by zoetrope at 2:29 PM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow. These are amazing. I really particularly like the Plague series. Saving these, and the story of the broom and rake, for when I teach that lecture again later this summer.
posted by strixus at 2:52 PM on June 6, 2012


Trollhunter was influenced by Kittelsen and Bauer! Also Erik Werenskiold.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:25 PM on June 6, 2012


I love the one in the last link where the giant troll/monster is just kind of strolling down a village street while the townsfolk flee in terror.

It's actually the main street of Oslo (arguably a village). Funny how Henrik Ibsen appears to be completely unconcerned, haven't noticed that before...
posted by argggh at 3:34 PM on June 6, 2012


i just watched Trollhunter the other night! thought the movie was "ok" but the TROLLS were great! and so yes, quite enjoying this post today.
posted by lapolla at 4:20 PM on June 6, 2012


I have family in Norway, and they often sent books and prints of Kittelsen's works. I have many very visceral memories of these pictures from looking through the books as a kid. My parents had this print in their bedroom. Whether this contributed to their divorce I do not know.
posted by TrarNoir at 4:46 PM on June 6, 2012


My dad has a thick hardbound book of this guy's work, which I love. Besides the monsters, he can be quite lyrical (as in this sweet, melancholy Book of Months) and did some excellent scathing political cartoons as well, which aren't represented here. Maximapedia lists him as Norway's best caricaturist.
posted by msalt at 5:00 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of these are fun, but the art is really lacking. Most of this stuff is very flat. He's no Beksinski. It's as if Goya mated with Giger, and maybe it was a threesome with Gorey.

I know that's not what this is about but when it comes to, just, visceral, organic creepiness no one else really compares. Except maybe Gamell, you may know him from the following nightmares.
posted by legospaceman at 5:28 PM on June 6, 2012


Err, I was describing Beksinski, not Kittelsen.
posted by legospaceman at 5:29 PM on June 6, 2012


All I can do is chime in and repeat, thank you these are awesome I have to go find a giant hardcover book of these.
posted by the bricabrac man at 7:36 PM on June 6, 2012


« Older Round the World in 80 Days. Well, nearly   |   If the retail staff doesn't like you... you die. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post