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Dryland Antiques

Norwegian Rosemaling Small Wooden Heart Wall Hanging

Norwegian Rosemaling Small Wooden Heart Wall Hanging

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Norwegian Rosemaling Small Wooden Heart Wall Hanging, "To Be Your Friend Is Special". Measures 4" x 3 1/2"

Norwegian folk art
Although folk art is not a new concept, it was not recognized as “art” until the late nineteenth century.

Traditionally, folk art refers to functional items that were decorated with certain motifs or using particular techniques. The people who created them had no formal training as artists or craftsmen; instead, the skills were handed down through generations.

One of the most recognizable types of Norwegian folk art is “rosemaling” (or “rose painting”), named after the floral designs that characterize the artwork. While rosemaling can be found all over Norway, it has its strongest roots in rural Eastern Norway, particularly in Hallingdal and Telemark.

"Uvdal stave church, rose paint" by Frode Inge Helland
“Uvdal stave church, rose paint” by Frode Inge Helland, 2005 (CC)

Rosemaling is a relatively young form of folk art, developing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was influenced by other popular European art styles of the time, including Baroque, Regency and Rococo, which is evident in the paintings’ colours and use of “S” and “C” curves.

While rosemaling has general characteristics, each region developed their own style of painting, which often enables the artwork to be connected to a specific place, if you know what to look for.

In the eighteenth century, artists tended to be trained professionals from the cities. They would travel around Norway, providing their services where needed.

People in rural areas would then try and copy this art, but did not have the training – nor the restrictions that came with it. Therefore, they were able to be much more creative with their designs, which allowed rosemaling to evolve into its own distinct style.

Originally, rosemaling was used to decorate items but, much like the vines and flowers they depict, the designs soon spread around the room to cover ceilings, doors, and walls.

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