Norwegian romantic nationalism (Norwegian: Nasjonalromantikken) was a movement in Norway between 1840 and 1867 in art, literature, and popular culture that emphasized the aesthetics of Norwegian nature and the uniqueness of the Norwegian national identity. A subject of much study and debate in Norway, it was characterized by nostalgia.
National Romanticism (also called Heidelbergromantics) was a cultural-historical period that originated in Germany in the 19th century. National Romanticism was inspired by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Hieder and found its distinctive expression in visual arts, architecture, philosophy, historical research, music, folklore and literature. In Norway, the period lasted from approx. 1840 to 1855-65.
National romance was a variant of romance, which was the dominant spirit flow in Europe from ca. 1800-1830. The aim of national romance was to understand and shed light on national characteristics. Herder’s ideas drew attention to popular cultural traditions, both material and spiritual, in addition to fairy tales, legends, shows, dialects, building customs, dressmaking, folk decoration painting and wood carving etc. The inspired linguistic and historical writing and became the origin of folk science. Central to this were people like Arnim, Brentano and the Grimm brothers in Germany.
The context and impact of Norwegian romantic nationalism derived from recent history and the political situation. Following the Black Plague, Norway became dependent on Denmark and Copenhagen was made capital of both countries in a personal union. Subsequently, there was a brain drain of talented people from Norway to Denmark, who studied in Copenhagen and became intellectuals and cultural icons in Denmark, most famously Ludvig Holberg. After more than 400 years as a dependent lesser part in the Denmark-Norway union treated as a cultural backwater by the absentee government in Copenhagen, the only uniquely Norwegian culture was found among the farmers and peasants in rural districts in Norway; Norway had in 1814 gained a partial independence in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden.
Norwegians, having reasserted their political aspirations in 1814, the question of a distinct Norwegian identity became important. As urban culture gained prominence also in the rural districts, the rich cultural heritage of the Norwegian countryside came under threat. As a result, a number of individuals set out to collect the artifacts of the distinctly Norwegian culture, hoping thereby to preserve and promote a sense of Norwegian identity.
The priest and philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder gave rise to a redefinition of the term “people”, through his publication of Volkslieder folk songs, later revised the edition Stimmen der Völker in Liedern. Wax songs In the preface he wrote that all peoples of the world possessed, and were entitled to, their separate cultural expressions. Herd became the origin of the term folk, folk culture and national culture in this sense. Parallel to Herder’s work, Montesquieu introduced the principle of power distribution, and the Rousseau people sovereignty principle. The influence of these three, Herder, Montesquieu and Rousseau, would eventually flow together in the national romance and give impetus to various self-government movements.
The German cultural area was divided into a number of small states with common languages. Germany first became a political entity in 1871. Clemens Brentano and the Grimm brothers took the initiative early on the collection and cataloging of German languages, and through this they also recorded a series of fairy tales and legends that had lived their lives in public. Grimm’s Kinder- und Haus Märchen was published in 1812 and Deutsche Sagen in 1818. The collection of the people’s cultural expressions confirmed and strengthened Herd’s cultural thought. Arnim and Brentano, however, published a collection of German folk poetry already between 1805 and 1808 under the titleDes Knaben Wunderhorn. It became a pattern for later editions of folk poetry in other countries. Johannes Brahms toned down the German collection. The Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland was inspired by Des Knaben Wunderhorn when he created his Winter Flowers in the Children’s Chamber, a collection of children’s poetry that partly consists of free re-poems. The Grimm brothers got their Norwegian successors in Andreas Faye, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, while their linguistic work was especially followed by Ivar Aasen.
Development in Norway
In Norway, national romance is first and foremost linked to the national breakthrough, which really started with Andreas Faye’s collection Norske Sagn (1833). Henrik Wergeland thought this was close enough.
“… now having together 100 Priests in the Valley since We became free and everything Nationally got its proper value again, without having either gathered or reported anything about the National Anthem in there. And yet, there have been many poetic dilettants among those who seem to have created such a job. But love must drive this. All that we can show of such enterprises is Faye’s legend, a rumor that Priest Wolff must have collected some from the Thelemarken and a collection of “Dialect Songs” (so have given up its tasteless title), which must now be in the works – a Skjald had to traverse Norway to discover them; but then he must not lie in the rectory. If I come to the country, I must do something ”. (letter to Frederika Bremer, February 5, 1840).
The work Wergeland in demand started in earnest after 1840. However, Magnus Brostrup Landstad and Olea Crøger were already in the late 1830s, and as the “national culture” was discovered and disseminated through concerts and publications, the involvement in the urban area grew. Norway. The musical collection began with Ole Bull and continued with Lindeman. Bull believed that a Norwegian musical expression had to be based on Norwegian folk music, as it was performed by, for example, Myllarguten.
Two types of national romance
National romance in Norway can be divided into two types. Poetic swarm and a scientifically oriented direction.
In poetic swarms, often supported by poetic realism, one finds poets such as Welhaven and Andreas Munch. One is concerned with nature, paying tribute to mysticism, swarming the Norwegian countryside, but at the same time believes that in its immediacy not enough formed – the art must be refined. Many of the leading writers of national romance were associated with the “troop” or the Intelligence Party. This also applied to Vinje in young years.
When Henrik Ibsen performed the play Sancthansnatten in Bergen in 1852, it was very poorly received, and Ibsen never put up the play again. As a consequence of these attitudes, Ivar Aasen wrote an article on Norwegianness and formation. These were obviously two different sizes, Aasen concluded. The national romance thus also revealed a rather insurmountable cultural divide, which was to become a cultural policy problem in Norway until well into recent times (cf. the language struggle).
On the other hand, there was a more scientifically oriented direction, represented by collectors Andreas Faye and Asbjørnsen and Moe, Magnus Brostrup Landstad, Ivar Aasen and Eilert Sundt.
The language contest
The language struggle also prevailed during national romance. Some felt that the country also needed its own language. The two variants were to develop into today’s Norwegian Norwegian and Bokmål / National Goals, represented by Ivar Aasen and Knud Knudsen respectively. The pursuit of research had all begun with Henrik Wergeland, who predicted that Norway would have its own written language “before the turn of the century”.
In architecture used national romanticism as a collective term for several styles as a phase within historicism from the late 1800s until after World War 1. In Norwegian wood architecture, the style of drag is considered from before 1900. Larger buildings are characterized by the use of coarse stone (raw cup), as a counterweight to or reaction to German classicist plaster architecture. The Art Nouveau ornament takes up Viking Age animal motifs and stave church decor to symbolize the Norwegian.
The best-known such collectors in the 1840s and 1850s were:
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, who collected fairy tales and stories from most of the country;
Magnus Brostrup Landstad and Olea Crøger, who collected folk songs particularly in upper Telemark;
Ludvig Mathias Lindeman who collected folk tunes and laid the foundations for a separate Norwegian hymn tradition, distinct from the Danish and German psalms which until then had the greatest influence on Norwegian high music;
Ivar Aasen, a linguist who conducted analyses of vocabulary, idioms, and grammar mostly from Western Norway and the mountainous valleys on the assumption that the original seeds of a Norwegian language were to be found there. He synthesized a grammar, vocabulary, and orthography for a separate Norwegian language that became the origin of Nynorsk. (See Norwegian language)
These achievements had an enduring impact on Norwegian culture and identity, an impact that can be witnessed in the influence on visual arts, classical music and literature, represented by e.g.:
Painters Adolph Tidemand, Hans Gude, J.C. Dahl, August Cappelen;
Writers Jørgen Moe, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Aasmund Olavsson Vinje, and also Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Henrik Ibsen in the beginning of their careers;
Composers Ole Bull and Edvard Grieg.
National Romanticism as part of the romantic
In his work Romantikken som Konstruksjon 1985, the Norwegian literary historian Asbjørn Aarseth subdivided the term romanticism thematically with the subtitle “Studies of tradition in Nordic literary history”:
Sentimental romanticism continues the sensitive poetry of the 18th century, albeit in the awareness of a turning point (like Schiller’s « About naive and sentimental poetry »).
Universal romanticism contains Schlegel’s longing for cosmic unity and borders on pantheistic mysticism.
Vital romance emphasizes – u. a. based on organism thinking – the equality or relationship between plants, animals and humans. It includes Sendling’s natural philosophy, the unconscious drives, the demonic self-development. (2nd – 3rd match reasonably René Wellek’s criteria of the concept of nature as a basic parameter for the worldview of romanticism and imagination as a central moment in romantic poetics.)
National romanticism means national community as a variant of organism thinking with inclusion of a historical, old Norse-inspired dimension.
Liberal romanticism: the quest for freedom can be found both in the demands of the progressive bourgeoisie and in the oppressed ethnic groups for independence and self-government (this corresponds to the national romanticism in the Napoleonic period and is renewed after the July Revolution). It can be put together with the so-called romanticism.
Social romanticism includes the utopian socialists (Saint-Simon and Fourier, later also Marx) and a certain enthusiasm for social reforms, e.g. B. in raising children or forms of living together (like Almqvists Det går an).
Regional romanticism, d. H. Interest in folk life and provincial culture, landscapes and topography leads to home poetry in the later century.
All of these topics have in common that they understand the world as one organism. This then also affects the individual objects, so that it results from understanding the people, the tribe, the family as organisms. The concept of the “people’s soul” also arises in this pattern of thought. Depending on the extent of the image of the organism, there is emphasis on the individual people as an independent organism in distinction from the other Scandinavian peoples, or on Scandinavianism, which declares Norway, Sweden and Denmark to be a basically common organism. Both models have been virulent in Norway and have also led to political controversy.
The nationally romantic movement in Norway differs in principle from the nationally romantic movements in the rest of Scandinavia and especially from that in Iceland. While there from the outset romanticism was linked to the strengthening or establishment of the nation and also widespread among the people, the romantic idea of an independent folk organism in Norway initially had no support from the population. The element of national independence was registered late and externally as a result of the Kiel Peace of January 14, 1814.
Around 1814, Norway had a population of 900,000, of which around 1 ⁄ 10 lived in a city. The country was poor, although there was no need during normal harvest years. With the introduction of Confirmation in 1736 and Elementary School in 1739, reading skills became widespread. However, with very few exceptions, the literature was limited to catechisms and psalm books. The population saw themselves as residents of a particular geographical area of the Danish Empire. This has never been questioned and has not been the subject of any debate. Norwegian students founded a Norwegian society (Norske Selskab) in Copenhagen in 1774, and although this society became a forum for national self-glorification, no political program for the detachment from Denmark emerged. The state was headed by approximately 2 000 civil servants families. The political upper class had close family ties to Denmark and had also attended the university in Copenhagen. The romantic ideas therefore did not refer to national independence, but to the awareness of one’s own value within the empire and the glorification of one’s own past. Although the mood within the lower strata was not exactly known, King Frederik, for fear of an uprising in Norway, did not dare to announce Norway’s cession to Sweden in the Peace of Kiel after Norway. This was completely unprepared for Norway. Due to the anti-Swedish mood that prevailed in Norway except for the merchants in the Ostland, Eidsvoll’s declaration of independence came about. Although this independence lasted only briefly and Sweden took over, political events led to storting in Norway now giving top priority to strengthening one’s own national consciousness.
Creation of the national idea
Soon after the change of country under Swedish rule, the task arose to create a national feeling related to Norway in Norway, a process that is dealt with separately under ” Nation building in Norway “. An educational offensive started first. The driving force was industrialist Jacob Aall. He had been a founding member of “Selskap for Norges Vel” and had been very committed to the establishment of a Norwegian university. He not only participated in the drafting of the constitution, but also published a series of moral writings that aimed to evoke a national outlook through popular ethical arguments. In addition, he dealt with the translation and publication of the royal sagas in theHeimskringla. In 1814 he financed the publication of Orðabók Björns Halldórsonar (an Icelandic-Latin-Danish dictionary), which was provided by the language researcher Rasmus Christian Rask. In 1824 the poet and lawyer Anke Bjerregaard published the magazine “Patrioten”. He too was heavily influenced by Romanticism in his works and can be considered the forerunner of the romantic poet and critic Welhaven and the romantic poet Wergeland.
The July Revolution in France gave fresh impetus to the idea of freedom. Wergeland translated the French anthem of freedom. Sons from intellectual circles, mostly pastors, came to Christiania from all parts of the country and met at the university. The political debate was dominated by the 20–30 age group. Also, the Storting was occupied in the elections of 1833 with new people. For the first time, the peasants elected representatives from their own ranks, so that almost half of the deputies were farmers.
The cultural debate
Two circles were formed around three men each: the cultural life was determined by the men Henrik Wergeland, Johan Welhaven and PA Munch. In politics, these were the leading State Councilor Frederik Stang, the spokesman for the group of officials in the Storting Anton Martin Schweigaard and that of the farmers’ leader in the Storting Ole Gabriel Ueland. These two groups determined the intellectual life of the 1930s. Politics and culture were intertwined. Debates about poetry and aesthetics were basically political debates that were always about the concept of “freedom”.
Many law students at Christiania University felt like patriots and formed a student association. The majority of them sought civil service. In particular, the farmers in the Storting were described as patriots, who together with some of the officials in the Storting formed the opposition. The patriots united the defense of the constitution, the front against bureaucracy, economy in public spending, and efforts to strengthen and democratize local governments. On the other side were men like Jacob Aall, Welhaven and his friends, who had close ties to Denmark and rejected the crude agitation of the patriots who branded their opponents as traitors. They were called “Intelligenz” (Intelligensen). They left the student association. The protagonists of the conflict became Welhaven and Wergeland, who attacked each other in poems. The supporters of the “intelligentsia” were allied with political power, if not unconditionally and unconditionally.
“Intelligence” brought the debate about the concept of “freedom” onto the general agenda. Welhaven had grown up in the classical tradition, had joined the romantic view of poetry as an independent, beautiful art and believed that one could only gain freedom from form if one had passed through and overcome the constraint of form. Wergeland claimed another freedom, the freedom of genius. It was the freedom to enrich his language with words that were most effective, with the pictures that he found significant, with sentences that were as long as he thought necessary, with erotic themes that went far beyond that went beyond what was considered admissible at the time. The fact that he had a woman mated with a goat in a poem was unheard of in 1830, a deadly sin against poetry in the eyes of Welhaven. This dispute was also raised in the area of cultural policy: it was about what poetry the people should have. The poetic form could not be distinguished from the purpose of poetry. Welhaven thought that Wergeland’s poetry was perishable.
In the waning days of the national romantic movement, efforts were renewed to collect rural buildings, handcrafts and arts. Arthur Hazelius, the founder of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm gathered (and arguably rescued) large collections and sent to Sweden.
The last king of union between Sweden and Norway, Oscar II, was a supporter of this new wave of collecting, starting one of the oldest outdoor museums, the origins of Norsk Folkemuseum. He supported the manager of the Royal domains at Bygdøy, Christian Holst in his efforts to gather old buildings from the rural districts. Among the buildings that are still at the museum, the Gol stave church, moved here in the beginning of the 1880s, is the most prominent. Soon after other pioneers started equal efforts to rescue important pieces of traditional Norwegian architecture and handicraft. Anders Sandvig started the museum Maihaugen at Lillehammer. Hulda Garborg started the collecting of traditional folk costumes (bunad) and dances.
This effort is still underway, but became more systematic as other cultural movements took the center stage in Norway in the late 19th and early 20th century. Romantic nationalism has had an enormous impact on the Norwegian national identity. The Askeladden character from the fairy tales is considered being an integral part of the Norwegian way. On the Norwegian Constitution Day even in cities like Oslo and Bergen, a great proportion of people dress up in bunad for the parade, unthinkable 100 years ago.
Coming from the Düsseldorf School of Painting, Norwegian landscape and genre painters such as Hans Fredrik Gude and Adolph Tidemand developed nationally romantic image content in the 1840s. This impressed the Swedish King Oskar I so deeply that he instructed them and Joachim Frich to paint his neo-Gothic Oskarshall Palace in 1849 and in 1850 initiated a travel grant for Swedish painters at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In his main work Devotion to the Haugians(1848) Tidemand used a preaching scene in an old Norwegian smoke house (Årestue) to refer to the religious revivalist movement of the Norwegian lay preacher Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771–1824), which was closely linked to national self- reflection in Norway. Because of the great success in Germany, Tidemand made another version of the picture for the National Gallery in Oslo in 1852, which processed folklore costumes and models from Düsseldorf’s genre painting. Together with the picture Bridal Cruise on the Hardangerfjord, it was shown at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1855, where these exhibits earned their creator a first-class medal and the Legion of Honor. The path prepared by Gude and Tidemand was followed by other Norwegian painters, such as Johan Fredrik Eckersberg, Knud Bergslien, Erik Bodom, Lars Hertervig, Anders Askevold, Morten Müller and Hans Dahl.
People’s Educational measures
For Wergeland, language was an essential starting point for the emergence of the nation. In Vidar magazine, PA Munch published an article in which he believed that there was only one spoken Norwegian language, but that it had many branches in the form of Old Norwegiansimilar dialects. As a supporter of the Intelligence Party, Munch admitted that contemporary written language was not Norwegian, but found the invading Danish language to be a gift to Norway. In his answer, Wergeland emphasized the value of his own vernacular for a nation and defended it against the “language aristocrat” Munch. It was also about the so-called “original Norwegian” against a cosmopolitan language of the educated. Wergeland also reports that one day the border between countries is no longer a river, but a word. But Welhaven by no means rejected the vernacular. He also emphasized the national differences and recognized nationality as a source of poetry, which should then lead to national romanticism. Ivar Aasen drew the conclusion from the dispute over language reform and developed a Norwegian language in the spirit of Munch using dialect research. He refused to offer a scholarship at the university because he did not want to adapt to urban student fashion. Rather, he kept his peasant costume. His national spirit then flourished in the language dispute. In his writing Om vort Skriftsprogfrom 1836 he presented his national language policy program. For him, a separate national written language was inevitable instead of Danish. Both for social and national reasons, it was important for an independent nation to have its own written language, which was based on its own national dialects.
Since the “people’s soul” of Norway could not refer to past genders, as these were overlaid by Danes, the cultural monuments had to take over this function. The norrønen texts were particularly suitable for this. On the one hand, they represented independent literature and were testimony to their own creativity and the high level of education of their creators. On the other hand, they documented the people’s past and were able to underpin the demand for sovereignty. From the sources it could be seen that the Norwegian Empire was about the same age as the Danish or Swedish Empirewas. The aesthetic appreciation generated the literary, the content the historical interest, whereby historical research was more important for the political scene. This was expressed in the fact that norrøne texts that had no relation to Norway, such as the Icelandic sagas, were neglected.
The source material was collected and published, translated and commented on according to scientific standards. This happened in the newly founded university. Leading figures were Rudolf Keyser and his students PA Munchand Carl R. Unger. Keyser also taught the norrøne language at the university. Three commissions for the publication of the historical sources were soon established. First came the Legal History Commission, which dealt with the old Norwegian laws. Then the commission for the Diplomatarium Norvegicum came into being. The third was the Commission for the Source Fund, which dealt with sagas and literature. The activities of all three commissions focused on historical research. This was considered an important national task.
The core sagas of Heimskringla were at the heart of folk education. They were first translated by Jakob Aall in 1838/1839. Munch’s translation followed in 1859. Further editions appeared in 1871 and 1881. Aall and Munch’s plan for translation emerged a good decade after Grundtvig’s translation in Denmark. The language was not the decisive factor, since Aall and Munch also wrote Danish, albeit enriched with words from Norwegian dialects. Rather, it was important that an authoritative for the Norwegian history text in Norway was translated by Norwegians.
Another field was painting. Adolph Tidemand became an illustrator of national romanticism and the publisher Christian Tønsberg with his magnificent illustrated books about Norwegian nature and culture was the engine. Another nationally romantic painter was Knud Bergslien, who belonged to the circle around Tidemand in Düsseldorf. He described farming culture as the bearer of old Norwegian values. The third major painter of Norwegian national romanticism was Johan Fredrik Eckersberg, who worked more in Norway and also ran an art school there, where many painters were trained.
The “Nordic” Language
The problem of a national language was sparked by the state of the Norwegian theater. In Christiania, only plays in the Danish language were performed in the newly built theater in 1827, also because there were no trained Norwegian-speaking actors, only professional actors from Copenhagen. This aroused the reluctance of Henrik Arnold Wergeland. He found it particularly inappropriate that Danish was spoken in pieces that took their material from early Norwegian history, and ironically wrote to Ridderstad in 1834: “You can believe it is confidential, Håkon Jarl and Sigurdur Jorsalafar talk ‘Københaunsk’ to hear. ” He also claimed the Norwegian share in Danish literature:Ludvig Holberg, the satirists Claus Fasting, Johan Herman Wessel, the epics Christen Pram, the poets Edvard Storm, Jens Zetlitz, Jonas Rein, Johan Vibe, Christian Braunmann Tullin and Johan Nordahl Brun, the dramatists Peter Andreas Heiberg, Envold de Falsen, von to whom he claimed that they were born in Norway, which is not always true, because De Falsen was born in Copenhagen, for example. PA Munch also advocated a specifically Norwegian written language, which he sought to “refine” the most widely used Norwegian dialect. He rejected an artificial language composed of all dialects. In contrast to Munch and Ivar Aasen, he did not want to wait for a scientific development, but wanted to start immediately, for example, by norwegizing the name. One should no longer use the meaningless biblical or Christian names such as Tobias, Daniel, Michael, Anna and so on, nor should the danced saint names such as Jørgen, Bent, Nils, Søren be used, but national Nordic, meaningful names Olaf, Håkon, Harald, Sigurd, Ragnhild, Astrid and Ingeborg. He was less concerned with the written language, but felt that the spoken language had to be developed first. Because the spoken language leads to national independence.
Danish and Norwegian
Parallel to the two cultures of Norway there were two languages: Danish in the upper class and Norwegian dialects in the rest of the population. The dialects were spoken by the majority of the population, but had no written tradition. The patriotic Norwegian literary figures enriched their Danish with individual vernacular expressions, but the gap between the two languages remained considerable.
What is Norwegian?
In the years after 1814 there was a discussion about the meaning of the word norsk (“Norwegian”). The educated Norwegians used the written Danish as a cultural language. Some argued that this Danish was also designed by Norwegian writers such as Ludvig Holberg and was therefore jointly owned by Danes and Norwegians. Therefore, the question arose whether this common written language should be called “Norwegian” or whether one should only call the Norwegian dialects that way. Despite Danish protests, the first view prevailed in the 1930s.
Demarcation of the Swedish
The first language dispute in 1816 concerned the saga translations by Jacob Aall (1773–1844). In his translation, he used some terms that came from the Norwegian dialects, but which also appeared in Swedish. Critics of the translation saw this as a sign of looming linguistic rapprochement with Sweden.
In the middle of the 19th century, Norway was in a situation where it had its own state, but no language of its own. One had to make do with the fact that the Danish language was declared the common Danish-Norwegian language and called Norwegian, but in the long run that was not very satisfactory. This led to different proposals to solve the problem.
Norwegianization written language
Some Norwegian writers tried to enrich their Danish written language with Norwegian dialect expressions. The dialects that could be used for this Norwegian vocabulary were not highly regarded. The linguistic connection between the Old Norse and the Nine-Norwegian dialects was already known, but no significant consequences were drawn from this.
In the 1930s, Henrik Wergeland and his partisans for norskhet (“Norwegianism”) also became jealous of the language. He and his followers demanded that they not only leave Denmark politically but also linguistically.
Revitalization of Old Norse
Peter Andreas Munch, a member of the Norwegian Historical School, saw his own language as the most important characteristic of his own nation. In 1832 and 1845 he proposed to revive the Old Norwegian language.
Creation of Nynorsk by Ivar Aasen
In the 1940s, Ivar Aasen (1813-1896) collected dialect material, from which he created Landsmål (Nynorsk), which he propagated to replace Danish. As a romantic and linguist, he had clear ideas about languages:
Language is an expression of the popular spirit, which means that a language of its own belongs to an independent nation.
Danish cannot be Norwegianized because it comes from a different people and spirit.
“Right” is the old, original, national language.
The Norwegian dialects, as different from each other, are more or less perfect implementations of the language from the folk spirit.
Like the Norwegian Historical School, Aasen consciously continued the pre-Danish period; in his opinion, the Danish period was only an non-organic interlude that did not belong, and which had no language impact if the language deterioration – especially in Østlandet and in the cities – fixed again.
The collection of sagas and fairy tales
In 1825, the “Nordiske Oldskriftsselskab” was founded in Copenhagen based on the model of the German “Society for Older German History”. The company’s chief executive was Professor Carl Christian Rafn. He named the goal of society to awaken and strengthen the fatherland sense. In the early years of society, he gave a number of sagasout. His efforts to group all Norwegian and Icelandic language monuments under the name “Nordic” met with resistance in Norway. In 1832 a call was made in Norway to support the “Samlinger til det norske Folks Sprog og Historie”. It was a patriotic task to put this collection in Norwegian hands so that “non-foreign zeal over Norway took over guardianship and wrote the history of Norway on foreign soil with a strange hand and with a strange heart.” In 1833 Andreas Faye published the Norske Folke Sagn. He followed the Grimm brothers’ goal of preserving every piece of folklore in its original form. After thisPeter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe who published Norske Folke-Eventyr, Welhaven wrote his national ballads. The language in which the Norske Folke-Eventyr were handed down was non-literary, on the other hand, the written language had no national style. Therefore Asbjørnsen and Moe developed a style that was composed of written and vernacular. This style gave the folk tales their national value.
But the development of an independent Norwegian written language also began. While Munch had suggested using a Norwegian dialect as a starting point, Ivar Aasen explained that the new Norwegian language should be put together from all dialects as equal sources.
One of the first major works to appear on Nynorsk was Steinar Schjøtts translation of Heimskringla. The large number of translations and their editions testify to the distribution and interest in this work in the 19th century. But it was not until the turn of the 20th century that Heimskringla really achieved its breakthrough through the epoch-making translation by Gustav Storm that appeared in 1899.
The immigration theory
Keyser and Munch were commissioned by the Norwegian government to copy the old Norwegian laws in Copenhagen. They believed that they could expose the old Norwegian feeling in the old rules on civil law. Keyser was familiar with Rasmus Christian Rasks’ philological research and developed the theory that a language with many forms and poorly developed syntax indicates that the language level in question is old. He concluded that Old Norse was the real Norwegian. The countries that used this language had been settled from Norway. The norrøne breed had populated the Scandinavian peninsula from the north to the German border. They also derived from the synonymous use ofNormanni and Dani for the Vikings in the French and German sources and of Norrønir, Norvegr and Nordvegir in the Sagas that the authors of the 10th century had summarized the entire ethnic group under the term “Norwegian”. At that time, the name “Norwegians” also meant Danes and Swedes. So they believed they could advance to a pure Norwegian human race. What is old must also be good, and the good was characterized by simplicity, unmixedness, purity. Schøning even went so far as to say that Norway was the “vagina gentium”. Since Iceland was a Norwegian colony, Icelandic was actually Norwegian and the Danes were Norwegian emigrants. The aim of these theories was to demonstrate the superiority and purity of the Norwegian people, which gave Norwegian national consciousness a great boost.
The theory of immigration could not be refuted at that time. But she embittered the Danish scholars. In addition, Keyser and Munch claimed that there was a Gothic or German group from the south in Denmark, which was particularly unwelcome in Schleswig-Holstein given the German efforts.
All historians at that time had in common the metaphysical- teleological view of romanticism towards history. The story had a “goal”. Good ultimately prevails over evil, the hero takes control of his own destiny, and in this case the hero was the Norwegian people.
The finale of national romanticism
The national romanticism had its wedding around 1845 to 1850.
In the 1950s, skepticism and doubts spread in the literary field, and these were not romantic basic attitudes. The poet and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard became more influential, to a lesser extent satirist like Heinrich Heine.
National romanticism had a longer effect in the field of fine arts: historicizing styles, especially the neo-Gothic, are probably inconceivable without romanticism. The kite style is typical of Norway in the 90s of the 19th century. This was the only neo-style based on old Norwegian elements. When the personal union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905, the kite style took a back seat. It was not only a fashion in art, but also an expression of the anti-Unionist stance of many Norwegians before 1905. After the dissolution of the Union in 1905, its political and demonstrative function was no longer necessary.
Switzerland and National Romantic Painting
Switzerland, like Norway, was in many ways a young nation, which was given its present limits and independence status in the settlement after the Napoleonic Wars, ie around 1814.
There, too, it was considered important to find special features. The location in central Europe made this both easier and more difficult. Most European artists who wanted to visit Italy often traveled over the Swiss passports. Some of these, such as Jacob van Ruysdael created “Nordic” landscapes as early as the 17th century.
In painting, Norwegian and Swiss painters met in the cultivation of unspoilt nature, with mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and small water or ponds. The landscape became the main theme in the pictures, often with familiar landmarks. Several of the images were transferred to erasures that were sold in large editions.
Famous names in Swiss painting in the period are: Alexandre Calame (1810 – 1864), François Diday (1802 – 1877), Barthélemy Men (1815 – 1893), Wolfgang-Adam Töpffer (1766 – 1847) and Caspar Wolf (1753 – 1783) which had a function in Swiss national romance similar to Peder Balkes in Norway.
Some Norwegian artists also contributed pictures with Swiss motifs, such as. Johan Gørbitz, Knud Baade and Thomas Fearnley.