Episode 5: Dr. Knut Ljøgodt – Nordic reflections in Fine arts

Knut Ljøgodt, director of Nordic Institute of Art

Joining Eldbjørg Hemsing for the new podcast episode of “The Nordics Unveiled” is renowned Norwegian art historian and curator Dr. Knut Ljøgodt. Previously working at the National Gallery in Oslo, as Director at the Northern Norway Art Museum in Tromsø and Founding Director of Kunsthall Svalbard, dr. Ljøgodt is today leading the Nordic Institute of Art, which he co-founded in 2017. His curatorial work has been praised both in the Nordics and internationally.

As a leading scholar on Nordic and European 19th century art, including Romantic landscape painting and history painting, he is the perfect guest to help unveil the mystery of the Nordic Fine Arts.

Listen on your favorite podcast platform:


“We have many images of the North – what do we mean by the North, is it just generally the Nordic region (Norden) or individual Nordic countries. The Swedish national anthem has the line ‘Ja, jag vill leva, jag vill dö i Norden.’ or ‘I will live, I will die in the North’, but for the Swedes the North is Sweden. When we speak about the far North, or as we like to call it today the Arctic, above the Polar circle, Svalbard, Spitzbergen, North Pole, the image about Scandinavia and particularly Arctic has been seen as mystery, part of danger, dark place.”

Dr. Knut Ljøgodt, The Nordics Unveiled

“It is interesting to look at Nordic region as a whole, rather than as specific countries. Even though we know 19th century artists were striving to create the national identity, the culture of the region is so close that it makes more sense to be discussing it as a whole, rather than seeing it in national contexts. And at the same time the challenge of course is that most of the art, music or literature history is written from the national point of view.”

Dr. Knut Ljøgodt, The Nordics Unveiled

Peder Balke – The Sublime North

Earlier this year, dr. Knut Ljøgodt published a book “Sublime North: Works from The Gundersen Collection” about the work of one of the most outstanding Northern European Romanticism Peder Balke (1804 – 1887). In the two-part work, dr. Ljøgodt is presenting Peder Balke’s life and works, with focus on the artist’s later and more experimental works that are part of Gundersen Collection as well as other major works publicly and privately owned in Norway and internationally.

More about the “Peder Balke – Sublime North”.

Peder Balke, painter The sublime North (book)
Peder Balke – Sublime North: Works from The Gundersen Collection (cover)

Dr. Knut Ljøgodt’s music recommendation connected to the national romanticism

Production of podcast “The Nordics Unveiled” was made possible with generous support form foundations Dextra Musica and Bergesenstiftelsen.

The Nordics Unveiled © Hestia Arts AS

Matic Gajsek, Executive producer
Mathias Myren, Sound production