When Nikolai Astrup (1880-1928) painted Kollen by Kjøsnesfjorden in Jølster, he met the young and beautiful Engel Sunde (1892-1966). She would have a great impact on his art as well as his life.
Many of Nikolai’s motifs are from Jølster, and Sunde, where Engel grew up, was a much favoured landscape for the artist. A number of paintings in the exhibition are from locations close to both their hearts.
Engel and Nikolai spent a lot of time building a home for themselves. First at Myklebust, and subsequently on an old and worn down farmstead at Sandalstrand. Here they built what would eventually become a farm, a subsistence garden and an artist’s home. When Nikolai died in 1928, Engel made sure to preserve the artistic heritage and develop the artist’s home. Some of Nikolai’s woodblocks are exhibited here, along with the story of how they were used after his death.
Eventually, visitors began showing up at the farmstead, and in the 1960s, Engel welcomed more than 3000 visitors. Engel sold the property to the Jølster municipality in 1965. The conditions were clear, however: A fire-resistant building was to be constructed to house the artwork, and efforts would be made to bring Astrup’s art back to Astruptunet. The farmstead was to remain in public ownership, managed in the spirit in which the Astrup couple had created it.
With this exhibition, Astruptunet aims to focus on the whole Sandalstrand artist’s home, including artworks by both Engel and Nikolai.