• SZ-N-31725

Three Women by Ölfusá

Sigríður Zoëga 1915

The clear sky is the most prominent feature in this photograph of three women on a summer's night at the banks of the river Ölfusá by Kaldaðarnes in Flói. Two of the women stand but one lies in the sand. They look over the glassy surface of the water and enjoy the still of the evening. As is commonly seen in landscape paintings this photograph is split into three image depths. The women are on the edge of the foreground of the space. The river spreads out, resembling a lake rather than a river. Beyond the river are lowlands and further out, mountains can be seen in the distance and are reflected in the water despite their distance. This poetic landscape image has become a classic photograph since it appeared in a compendium about the life and work of the photographer in 2000, called Sigríður Zoëga. Ljósmyndari í Reykjavík, and no wonder since the subject matter is in line with the nation's essential romantic vision of Iceland.

The majority of Sigríður Zoëga's photographs are portraits taken in a studio which is how she made a living. After an internship with photographer August Sander in Germany, Sigríður took photographs when she travelled the country from 1914-1920. Many of them have the same characteristics as this one, depicting romantic landscapes or arrangements. They reflect a similar interpretation of the Icelandic landscape as was commonly seen from her contemporary Icelandic painters such as Ásgrímur Jónsson and Þórarinn B. Þorláksson. The photograph is also reminiscent of Danish Skagen Painters, such as Peder Severin Krøyers, and their women in white by the sea shore.


Þjms SZ1-31725

The National Museum of Iceland