Louis Moe (1857-1945)
04-Feb-2008 Filed in: Danish painters
"A troll looks like a human and in many cases a human is a troll!"
(Louis Moe in an interview)
A good craftsman, Louis Moe was Norwegian by birth, but spent most of his career in Denmark where he studied at the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen and became a Danish citizen in his later years. One of his most famous works is Ragnarok, an illustrated account of the Norse myth of apocalypse or Doomesday (see example). But he also illustrated the beautiful Darwinian fairy tales of Carl Ewald and various children's books incl. picture stories about Santa Claus on the North Pole, the Sea King and the Troll king and his family (see below). He also illustrated Emma Kraft's book of children's songs called 'Mellem Trolde' (Amongst Trolls) from 1896, where you find this little running troll:
Here are some other examples of his great artistic talent, both with etchings and ink drawings. First a troll or perhaps faun (a Greek demigod that was also popular in late 19th century art):
Then a naughty troll child:
Moe was also a great bear painter as the following two works show:
Moe mainly painted troll children (maybe as a result of not having any children of his own?). In this etching from 1933 we see a big brother dancing for his little sister:
Then the cover and one illustration from Troldebogen (The Troll Book), a story about a troll family that doesn't wake up when their cat eats the rooster that usually awakens them at sunset. Louis Moe didn't just illustrate other writers' stories, but also wrote his own while waiting for new assignments. This is one example:
Moe also drew many one page cartoons like the following from 1924 about a poor little troll that noone wants to play with:
(click for bigger version)
Moe could however also draw more wild looking trolls like the three sleepy ones on the painting below (from around 1918). are the Trolls awakening after the terrors of World War I:
Let us end this quick exhibition of Moe's great troll art with this etching from 1923 of trolls being swept away by a gigantic brush - held by whom? The artist, history, Christianity? You decide!