Christmas in Denmark with Viggo Johansen

Glædelig jul fra Danmark

Merry Christmas from Denmark

Viggo Johansen, A Christmas Story

Viggo Johansen (January 3, 1851- December 18, 1935) envisioned Christmas as a time for children as can be seen by the two paintings, A Christmas Story and Merry Christmas.  The lights shine brightly as children look with wonderment at the decorated tree.  There are no presents (or very few) under the tree, a mellow affirmation that the love of family was the best gift of all. The gentle mother and child story time moment brings back memories shared with parents.

Viggo Johansen was one of Denmark’s most important painters of the 1800’s.  He belonged to a group called the Skagen Painters who met in the summer months in the fishing village of Skagen, located in the northernmost part of Denmark. Nature and the welcome tranquility of the small village  was a perfect setting paint en plein air, emulating the French Impressionists.

Viggo Johansen, Merry Christmas (1881)

8 Comments »

  1. Ahh, he was brilliant. I adore these rich expressions of the magic & joy at this time of year. Christmas has become a game of dollars. That’s not to say we can’t, or don’t enjoy it. Huggos!

    • I share your joy of the holiday season. There is magic in the idea that one day can symbolize family, friends and community. I am enjoying a plate of cookies made by a group of caring individuals who are using the proceeds of sales to care for young children in need. There are so many wonderful people doing wonderful things all year long – it is magic all year long. I agree we can enjoy it all!

  2. Thank you for this post, two very beautiful paintings and a reminder that the Christmas gift, belongs to every one on our earth, My grandmother Oman would be so happy to see these two lovely paintings of Christmas trees and children by her countryman.

    • I am delighted that you enjoyed the paintings. I was heading over to Germany and happened to stop by France. Stay tuned – so many beautiful Christmas trees and family gatherings have been captured in paintings.

    • They do indeed! What I especially appreciate appreciate is that evergreens transcend traditions. They have a special kind of wisdom that comes from ancient times. One of my favourite LOTR quotes is by Treebeard, “The world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air.” Hugs coming your way.

    • Thank you, Cindy. Last night, I attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah! It was a reminder to me that our artists, musicians, composers, poets, writers – give us the gift of celebration. Hugs!!!

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