Art field in Norway in the XIX century and the construction of a national identity: a case study on Alfred Emil Andersen
Sociology University of São Paulo (USP) - Brazil São Paulo, Brazil
This paper, part of my doctorate research in sociology of art, deals with the "European part" of the trajectory of the Norwegian painter Alfred Emil Andersen (Kristiansand, 1860- Curitiba, 1935) who settled in the southern state of Paraná, in Brazil, in the end of the XIX century (around 1893), where he became very famous and known as "the father of Paraná's painting". Andersen was a naturalist painter, who studied in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and was in a way to a promising career in Scandinavia when, during a trip with his father (who was a ship captain), they made a technical stop in Brazil, where he ended up staying - and painting - for almost 45 years.
To do that, we will have to go back to the art field in Norway in the end of the XIX century, known as the golden age for their artistic movements. Also, it is very important to recover the Norwegian nationalistic movement, where the visual arts played an important role in the construction of the national identity. Andersen's paintings of the period are documents of the influence that the Norwegian Romantic Movement had on him, with the will to reconnect the country with his cultural heritage, instead of connecting with other European nations by modernization. An opposition of this posture was held by and internationalist perspective carried by painters like Christian Khrog and Edvard Much, that soon became the vanguard and occupied the dominant positions in the art field of Norway. The conflicts and difficulties of the period might help to understand Andersen's decision to live in South America, where he had less competition, as the art field was not yet configured. On the other side, his artistic formation and his social backgrounds should have influenced his vision and representation of the new world.