• Muggur, Sjöundi dagur í paradís

Seventh Day in Paradise

Guðmundur Thorsteinsson, Muggur 1920 

Guðmundur Thorsteinsson, Muggur, did quite a few religious works during his career and Seventh Day in Paradise is one of his most famous works. The space in this piece resembles a staged scene in a play where God almighty walks into the stage from the left accompanied by two angels. According to the Old Testament, God created the world in seven days and so he rested. A close look reveals exotic animals in the vegetation such as a giraffe, kangaroo and tall birds. In the mysterious pink light the creator's face is revealed, very finely drawn, a testament to the artist's meticulous ways.

 

Muggur was born in Bíldudalur in 1891. He had a good childhood and had his family's support in his choice of education and profession. After he finished his art studies in Copenhagen he was able to travel around Europe and to America with his father's ship that sailed to New York. After an eventful life he passed away at the very young age of 33 from tuberculoses. Muggur began drawing and painting when he was young as well as doing all kinds of handicraft that was practiced in his family home where people would sit together at night and embroider, read and talk. It was therefore natural for him to use different kinds of material when creating his pieces. Seventh Day in Paradise is an example of an unusually crafted piece where he used various kinds of manufactured paper, both matte and glossy, as well as paper he dyed himself. These unusual methods earned him a special place in Icelandic art history since such works were usually considered handicrafts rather than serious art.

 

LÍ 1051

National Gallery of Iceland