Studio: international art — 85.1923

Page: 197
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
1 cm


PERHAPS the best commentary on the
art of Einar Jonsson is to be found in
a letter he communicated in 1915 to The
American - Scandinavian Review (March-
April). In this interesting and moving
human document he is content to say of
himself that he was born in Iceland in
1874. This brief and modest autobiography

may be filled out with some particulars of
his career from other sources. As a child he
began to scribble and draw, to carve in
wood and stone, and to try to compose lays
and sagas. The imposing grandeur of the
scenes in which his boyhood was passed
may well have helped to direct his thoughts
to sculpture. “ There were/' writes Agust
Bjarnason, a distinguished compatriot of
the sculptor, “ high mountain peaks to
wind themselves into the imagination of the
boy and to become < trolls '; and when the
sunbeams played upon the strange hot-
spring vapours that filled the valley they
awaked in him all kinds of wonderful
dreams. And as he watched his father's
sheep in summer-time many things came
before his eyes, both grand and beautiful.
The mountain right above the farm, and
the wide view from there, vast and lovely :
Hekla and Geysir in the immediate vicinity;
Tindafjalla glacier, Eyjafjalla glacier and
the Westman Islands to the south ;
Hlodufell, Blafell and Jarlhettur to the
north; and all Langjokulsbungan,likesome
beautiful dome, in the background. It may
be guessed what a wonderful sight this was
in fair weather, both at evening and
morning and mid-day, and that it set its
mark on the boy's mind and temper." 0
Jonsson's parents had intended him for
the priesthood, and it was reluctantly that
they yielded to his entreaties to be allowed
to go abroad to study art. For two years he
loading ...