Nikolai Astrup was born in Norway in 1880. He is known for his colorful paintings, which often depict Norwegian landscapes, although his body of work includes several portrait paintings. Known for his modern art paintings, Nikolai Astrup is considered one of the most important 19th-century Norwegian painters. Astrup's paintings have been compared to the Symbolism painting of fellow Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Nikolai Astrup was one of seven children, and although his father hoped he would enter the priesthood, Astrup's first love was drawing and painting. He studied at the Royal Academy of Design in Oslo, and for a brief spell, he studied at the Academie Julian in Paris.
It was only recently that the first exhibition of his oil paintings took place outside of his homeland. In 2016 The Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibited many of his paintings which had never previously been viewed by the public. In 2021 The Clark Museum displayed paintings by Nikolai Astrup in its "Visions of Norway" exhibition.
Among his better-known paintings is The White Horse in Spring, held by the National Museum of Art in Oslo. Two other oil paintings on canvas are Midsummer Eve Bonfire 1917 and Midsummer Eve Bonfire 1926.
Niklai Astrup was not physically strong. He suffered from asthma, and in 1928, he died at the age of 47 due to tuberculosis and pneumonia.
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