Nightmare | Nicolaj Abraham Abildgaard | 1800

Nightmare | Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard | 1800

Nightmare | Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard | 1800

Tell me: don’t you think this painting is awesome?

The Dane Nicolaj Abildgaard studies in the Royal Danish Academy of Art, where he wins a gold medal for his achievements in 1767. This prize included a trip to further perfect his art. The expected option, at that time, was that he would travel to Paris, the place-to-be for contemporary artists, but the young Abildgaard decides to go to Rome, birthplace of classical art or, to say it in other way, centre of the art world 300 years before.

He remains in the Italian capital city until 1777 and he devotes himself to study Raphael, Titian and Michelangelo. But he also takes interest in other areas like architecture and decoration, at the same time that he furthers his knowledge on mythology, antiques, anatomy and perspective. There in Rome he meets Henry Fuseli, a Swiss artist.

Is Fuseli who, in 1781, finishes a painting called The nightmare. And, basically, Abildgaard copies the concept. But of course, the aware reader of the blog would realize that Fuseli finishes the canvas, at least, 4 years after known Abildgaard, so that’s why I think that Fuseli had already in mind the concept of the painting in Rome and would comment it with Abildgaard… it doesn’t matter: the Dane, although not very creative, in my opinion, finishes with a painting much more dramatic and effective than Fuseli’s.

In it, we see a couple sleeping naked in a bed. In the foreground, we see an incubus, it is, a kind of male demon that lays over women that are sleeping in order to have sex with them and procreate. The woman at the front sleeps in an odd position, which makes us think that she is dead; but the tranquility of her partner in the back confirm us that she is only sleeping.

The atmosphere of the painting is disturbing. The dark tones and the situation in which the characters are, is scary. Even, the disgusting furry incubus stares at us, innocent lovers of the impressionism, with those penetrating and red eyes, which tell us that we are the next victims of his machiavellic plans.

Lots of psychology writers based on Nightmare to explore dreams and their relation with unconscious fears. I personally think that this is a masterpiece: it moves us, it is scary and we cannot be indifferent to it. Way to go, Abildgaard!

Damn incubus. I think tonight I’m going to have trouble sleeping…

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Advertisements

~ by Álvaro Mazzino on September 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Nightmare | Nicolaj Abraham Abildgaard | 1800”

  1. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot
    of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time,
    there is an online tool that creates unique, google
    friendly posts in minutes, just type in google – laranitas free content source

  2. Despite the launching of the iOS 9 during the WWDC 2015 early this month, Apple will still be releasing its iOS 8.4 firmware update on June 30. Thus, the iOS 8.4 jailbreak would follow after that maybe in a week’s time or two

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: