• Nátttröllið á glugganum


Pictures of Folklore and Fairy Tales by Ásgrímur Jónsson

  • 15.5.2018 - 30.9.2020, Safn Ásgríms Jónssonar

Step into magic! The visual world of Icelandic folklore and fairytales created by Ásgrímur Jónsson in his art is a truly enchanted realm. Elves, trolls and ghosts, which had lived a nebulous existence in the Icelandic mind in the semi-darkness of the old turf farmhouse, were given a clear form in Ásgrímur's art. He first exhibited such pieces in Iceland in 1905.

Ásgrímur's works on folklore themes were well received; in the press, reviewers expressed delight that the folktale heritage was being addressed, for the first time, by an Icelandic artist. Ásgrímur's depictions of the appearance of elves and trolls met with widespread approval; hence the artist appears to have succeeded in capturing the way that Icelanders in general imagined such beings.

The exhibition Korriró og Dillidó offers an ideal opportunity for all the family to experience the unique supernatural world of elves in their finery and terrifying trolls, as depicted with passionate sincerity by Ásgrímur Jónsson. The emphasis is on the visitor's own imagination – offering the opportunity to enjoy this aspect of the cultural heritage, which can throw light upon the fears, dreams and desires of former generations – and their relationship with awe-inspiring Icelandic nature.

The National Gallery of Iceland collection incudes more than 1,000 works relating to folklore and fairy tales; and in Ásgrímur Jónsson's sketchbooks are 2,000 drawings mainly inspired by that tradition. This exhibition displays a number of key works from Ásgrímur Jónsson's large oeuvre of folklore pictures – both oils and watercolours, as well as numerous drawings. These include his interpretations of such tales as Elfwoman Una, the Night Troll, Gissur á Botnum, Búkolla, Mjaðveig Mánadóttir, the Deacon of Myrká and “Look into my glowing eye, Gunna.”




Sýningarnefnd og höfundar texta / Exhibition committee and authors
Birta Guðjónsdóttir, Dagný Heiðdal, Ragnheiður Vignisdóttir, Rakel Pétursdóttir