Gerhard Munthe: Norwegian Pioneer of Modernism

by: Jan Kokkin

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Gerhard Munthe: Norwegian Pioneer of Modernism by Jan Kokkin / ISBN 9783897905177 / 296-page hardcover, about 9.75 x 11.25 inches, published by Arnoldsche / excellent production values, highly recommended.

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Gerhard Munthe (1849-1929) is one of the most unique and important artists within the Art Nouveau movement and a significant contributor to its international diversity. His radical, abstract style based partly on old Norwegian folk art is today considered a precursor of twentieth-century modernism. Among Munthe's greatest achievements are his countless room decorations, of which the Holmenkollen Turisthotell (1896-1898) in Oslo and Håkonshallen (1910-1915) in Bergen are the most significant. A series of illustrations of old Norwegian ballads and fairy tales made in 1892-1893 became the basis for a renewal of the decorative arts in Scandinavia, notably in the weaving industry. Munthe's work as a designer covers most fields within the decorative arts: tapestries, carpets, furniture, stained glass, silver, porcelain, wallpaper, wrought iron, book bindings, fonts and ex libris.