Seamstress - Christian Krog
The painting “The Seamstress” by Christian Krog is today the pride of the Art Museum in Gothenburg. The artist created this canvas in 1881 - this period was a turning point for the artist. He met his future wife - artist Oda Larson, which significantly influenced his work. He also managed to live in Paris, where he formed his own views on life and the style of painting. In the art of technology, the works of the naturalist Jules-Bastien Lepage and the impressionist Eduard Manet served as an example for him. In a plot aspect, Krogh was influenced by French naturalist writers Emil Zola and Guy de Maupassant. These masters used provocative acutely social themes in their creations, Christian Krog also adhered to this strategy.
This canvas depicts a tired woman who fell asleep in a chair right in front of the sewing machine she was working on. She sits in a dark room, dimly lit by a lamp. On the floor are scissors, apparently dropped from the hands of an overworked seamstress. The artist wanted to show how hard work ordinary people have to earn a living. In such paintings by Christian Krog, you can clearly see his socialist views, he liked to portray the difficult life of ordinary people.
It is noteworthy that this canvas was the beginning of the whole creative cycle of Krog. In 1886, he will return to the plot of this picture, writing the novel "Albertina." It describes the life of a poor seamstress, which fate forced her to earn a living with her body. As in painting, Krog the writer wrote plots with detailed naturalism without embellishing reality. Such realism seemed too controversial for his contemporaries; the unprepared Norwegian public of the 19th century had too many taboo topics.