MUNTHE, Gerhard
(b. 1849, Skanshagen at Elverum, d. 1929, Baerum)

Illustration for Harald Hardrådes saga

c. 1896
Nasjonalbiblioteket, Oslo

Gerhard Munthe's most significant contributions as an illustrator/designer came in his work with the 1899 deluxe edition of Heimskringla. He drew the entire set of vignettes and a number of the illustrations as well as the book's binding.

Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse kings' sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241) c. 1230. The name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts (kringla heimsins, "the circle of the world").

Heimskringla is a collection of sagas about Swedish and Norwegian kings, beginning with the saga of the legendary Swedish dynasty of the Ynglings, followed by accounts of historical Norwegian rulers from Harald Fairhair of the 9th century up to the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla in 1177.

The picture shows an illustration of Harald Hardrådes saga in Heimskringla, 1899 edition. This book was published by J.M. Stenersen & Co.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.