Size: 51,5 x 39,5 cm
Materials: Acrylics on vinyl
I felt called to paint a troll that could be mistaken for a man. You’ve probably seen lots of artwork with trolls in them, like John Bauer’s paintings, but did you know that according to folklore, they actually resembled humans a lot more than most pictures let on?
In Scandinavian folklore, there are numerous examples of trolls being mistaken for humans, and even switching their babies with human babies. They were said to have an affinity for flashy clothes and jewellery. Not unlike some people today. Maybe they’re trolls walking among us? The only thing separating them from people was the tail, which the troll tried to hide under its clothing. Keep an eye out for that tail, you may spot a troll pretending to be human.
Trolls weren’t always referred to as malicious, clumsy, dirty, and stupid. In several tales, they’re kind, helpful, or just a little silly. A Swedish legend tells of when a farmer from Torrlösa in Skåne was helped by a troll when neighbours tried to drive him away from his farm. Another says that if one was polite towards the troll called Blåhallsgubben, you got better luck when fishing.
Most Norwegian actually like trolls. For example, there are currently 123 Norwegian companies with ‘troll’ in their name. A Norwegian proverb says: “You can tame trolls, but not angry women“.