" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=207" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=708" />Mårten Eskil Winge (1825–1896), Thor"s Fight through the Giants (1872), oil ~ above canvas, 26 x 32.7 cm, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons.

You are watching: Norse mythology art

Northern and Southern Europe are virtually different continents. I do not have anything is this much more apparent 보다 in the spread of Christianity and also its influence on art.

In the Mediterranean countries, Christians to be oppressed by the roman state, and also killed if castle did no revert to support its state polytheism. Yet when the roman inn Empire adopted Christianity, it was assimilated, and did not totally replace pre-Christian religions. As soon as the Renaissance came, artists ongoing to phone call those pre-Christian myths, and in some cases fused them through Christian beliefs: Botticelli’s Primavera (c 1482) is an excellent example, together is the continuing European heritage of painting old Greek and also Roman myths.

In north Europe, centred ~ above the north Sea and the Baltic, beforehand Viking and also other raiders walk massacre Christian monks, yet largely in pursuit of riches fairly than since of your beliefs. As soon as leaders and also monarchs converted to Christianity, it to be not unexplained for them to threaten the uncoverted with fatality if lock failed to become Christian!

Christian beliefs came to fully suppress earlier religions and mythologies, and the northern Renaissance shows tiny or no proof of those old myths. Together a result, Norse and other myths vanished native art until they to be ‘rediscovered’ in the so late eighteenth century. This article and the next look at few of the paintings which have because shown pre-Christian vikings deities and also myths.

I stop the innumerable illustrations which have been made come accompany texts of myths, such as the sagas. Although many have good artistic merit, and also this is not intended come make any comment on the merit, over there are just too countless to even dip into.


" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=940" class="size-full wp-image-28242" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=940" alt="abildgaardaudhumla" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=150 150w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=300 300w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/abildgaardaudhumla.jpg 1375w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Nicolai Abildgaard (1743–1809), Auðumbla (1790), oil, 37 × 45.5 cm, Statens Museum for Kunst (Den Kongelige Malerisamling), Copenhagen, Denmark. Wikimedia Commons.Norse mythology features production myths, amongst which is the story of Auðumbla, the primaeval cow, displayed in Nicolai Abildgaard’s paint of Auðumbla native 1790. The giant Ymir is watched suckling in ~ the 4 udders that Auðumbla, together the cow is licking the number of Búri the end of the ice. The last task took Auðumbla 3 days come accomplish, complying with which Búri was the an initial of the gods, dad of Borr, and also grandfather that Odin, Vili, and Ve.


This god is perhaps the best-known of the whole Norse pantheon, and also spread transparent Old English and also Germanic mythologies too, living on in the job of the mainly Thursday. That famously wields his mighty hammer Mjölnir, v which he forges thunderbolts, and also is associated with thunderstorms, storms much more generally, oak trees, the protection of mankind, and fertility.

He is the husband of the goddess Sif, but like the roman Jupiter has several extramarital relationships leading to children.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=213" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=726" class="size-full wp-image-28247" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=940" alt="fuselibattlethor" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=106 106w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=213 213w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/fuselibattlethor.jpg 1012w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Henry Fuseli (1741–1825), The battle Between Thor and the line of Midgard (1788), oil top top canvas, 131 × 91 cm, imperial Academy that Arts, London. Wikimedia Commons.Henry Fuseli’s paint of The fight Between Thor and also the snake of Midgard (1788) shows one of Thor’s countless exploits: his battle with the monstrous serpent Jörmungandr. This to be a sea serpent born of the gigantic Angrboða and also Loki.

This celebrated battle arisen when Thor walk fishing with the giant Hymir. Thor baited a solid line with an ox head, i beg your pardon the serpent bit. When Thor traction the serpent native the water, Hymir shied away, as shown here. As soon as Thor reached for his hammer to death Jörmungandr, Hymir reduced the line, and also the serpent escaped, just to challenge a further fight with Thor at the end of the world, Ragnarök.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=207" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=708" class="size-full wp-image-28248" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=940" alt="wingethorsfight" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=104 104w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=207 207w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/wingethorsfight.jpg 1011w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Mårten Eskil Winge (1825–1896), Thor’s Fight with the Giants (1872), oil on canvas, 26 x 32.7 cm, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons.Mårten Eskil Winge’s painting of Thor’s Fight v the Giants (1872) mirrors a less famous battle, but provides better detail, such as the two goats which attract Thor’s chariot. In any kind of other circumstances those goats could have looked rather feeble, however Winge provides them as ferocious as Thor himself.

Odin and Valhalla

Odin (or Woden) is additionally well-known, and prominent in the vikings pantheon. Husband of the goddess Frigg, the has countless sons, including Thor himself. That is connected with death, and is the overseer that Valhalla, wherein heroes seek death. Conversely, that is also associated with healing, knowledge, and also sorcery. He stays on in the day of the mainly Wednesday, because that Woden’s day.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=251" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=857" class="size-full wp-image-27841" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=940" alt="thomatrekofgods" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=126 126w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=251 251w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg?w=857 857w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/thomatrekofgods.jpg 1107w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Hans Thoma (1839–1924), The Trek that the god to Valhalla (1880), oil on canvas, 74.3 × 62 cm, Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt, Germany. Wikimedia Commons.Hans Thoma’s paint of The Trek that the gods to Valhalla (1880) mirrors the team of gods recognized as the Æsir riding across the leg Bifröst, i m sorry is formed from a burning rainbow and also reaches between Midgard (the realm of humans) and Asgard (the kingdom of the gods). The Æsir traditionally include Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr, and Týr. Recognisable ~ above the bridge room Odin, stop his staff, through Frigg, and Thor v his hammer. In ~ the left is probably Iðunn, holding an apple of she youth aloft.

This is an additional event foretold as part of the process of Ragnarök.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=220" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=751" class="size-full wp-image-10842" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=940" alt="arbovalkyrie1864" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=110 110w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=220 220w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg?w=751 751w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1864.jpg 1116w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831–1892), Valkyrie (1864), oil on canvas, 263 × 203 cm, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Wikimedia Commons.Valhalla is also home come the Valkyries, fearsome ladies whose function is to select those who die in battle from those that survive. Of those who die, the Valkries bring fifty percent to Odin’s Valhalla, whereby they come to be einherjar, preparing for the occasions of Ragnarök. The other fifty percent who die space taken come Freyja’s Fólkvangr, a ar of afterlife.

Peter Nicolai Arbo painted at least two various versions the a Valkyrie, that over from 1864, and also that listed below from 1869.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=245" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=836" class="size-full wp-image-10843" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=940" alt="arbovalkyrie1869" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=122 122w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=245 245w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg?w=836 836w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/arbovalkyrie1869.jpg 1142w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831–1892), Valkyrie (1869), oil ~ above canvas, 243 x 194 cm, Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo. Wikimedia Commons.Freyja

Freyja is the goddess the love, sex, beauty, and war, and also custodian the the ar of the afterlife, Fólkvangr, where she is watched in her hall, Sessrúmnir. She is the wife of the often-absent Óðr, by who she has two daughters. Her chariot is attracted by two cats, often presented as black.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=213" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=726" class="size-full wp-image-28249" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=940" alt="zornfreya" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=106 106w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=213 213w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg?w=726 726w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/zornfreya.jpg 1050w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Anders Zorn (1860–1920), Freya (1901), oil ~ above canvas, 61 × 45.5 cm, Zornsamlingarna, Mora, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons.Anders Zorn’s veru unconventional paint of Freya to be made in 1901 together a gift for Samuel Roosevelt, cousin that the united state President. Her waist-length hair sweeps down over her right arm, together she lounges in her throne in Sessrúmnir. She stop a chalice in her left hand, and also a black color cat is by she feet. Roosevelt was a keen amateur artist, and also Zorn painted this occupational in his studio in new York once he was visiting.


Loki is a shape-shifting god known for his cheeky or also malicious tricks and pranks which he plays on various other deities. The is the husband the Sigyn, but is likewise the dad of the sea serpent Jörmungandr, and (when he had actually assumed the kind of a mare) the mom of Odin’s eight-legged steed Sleipnir.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=940" class="size-full wp-image-28245" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=940" alt="eckersberglokisigyn" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=150 150w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=300 300w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersberglokisigyn.jpg 1255w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783–1853), Loki and also Sigyn (1810), oil ~ above canvas, 134 x 162 cm, ar not known. Wikimedia Commons.Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg’s paint of Loki and Sigyn native 1810 mirrors Loki’s fate. He engineered the death of Baldr, for which he to be bound by Váli making use of the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent was then placed above him, to drip gift which Sigyn collection in a bowl. As soon as she has to empty that bowl, gift drips ~ above Loki, resulting in him excruciating pain, i beg your pardon triggers earthquakes.


Baldr is a child of Odin, and also brother to Thor and also Váli.

" data-medium-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=300" data-large-file="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=940" class="size-full wp-image-28244" src="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=940" alt="eckersbergdeathbaldr" srcset="https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=940 940w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=150 150w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=300 300w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=768 768w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg?w=1024 1024w, https://juniorg8.comdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/eckersbergdeathbaldr.jpg 1247w" sizes="(max-width: 940px) 100vw, 940px" />Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783–1853), The death of Baldr (1817), oil top top canvas, 142 x 178.3 cm, Kunstakademiet, Copenhagen, Denmark. Wikimedia Commons.Baldr became depressed by desires of his own death. His mommy Frigg thus made everything on earth vow that it would not hurt Baldr, yet the mistletoe refused. Loki made himself a magical spear indigenous the mistletoe, and took it to a ar where the various other gods to be amusing themselves by throw objects in ~ Baldr, as their missiles merely bounced turn off without harming that – a repercussion of the vows.

Loki gave his mistletoe spear to Baldr’s brother Höðr, that was blind. Once Höðr threw the spear in ~ Baldr, it killed him. The is the scene which Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg so very closely depicts in his painting of The death of Baldr from 1817. Baldr lies dead in the foreground, with Höðr holding his arms out at the left. Behind the is Loki, barely concealing his mirth. Odin sit in the throne, v Thor come the right.

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Behind is the tremendous tree Yggdrasil, i m sorry connects the ripe worlds, and at that foot are the 3 Norns, fates who I will discuss in the following article.