On this gray and drizzly afternoon I finished the final touches on my little painting “The Norwegian Bride.” I am so happy with how she turned out! I know I talk a lot about Sweden here and Swedish art and traditions, but Norway also has fascinating art and traditions as well, and they deserve some time and attention!
When I saw a photo of a Norwegian Bride in her bridal crown I was fascinated– they are just gorgeous! The history behind them is pretty fascinating. According to Ingebretsens.com:
“The bridal crown came in use at the end of the middle ages, with the Virgin Mary’s crown at the forefront. The crown was undoubtedly the most expressive part of anything the bride would wear. It would be a symbol of her purity and virginity. Women who did not qualify in that category or who were pregnant or who were widowed were not allowed to wear the bridal crown. In some districts pregnant brides were allowed to wear smaller crowns or a modified version of the hodeplagget – a head covering that married women wore with their bunad.
Bridal crowns varied from district to district. They, as a rule, would be richly decorated with detailed silver work and, of course, would be very valuable. Some crowns could be so heavy that they would have to be sewn into the bride’s hair in order for it to sit properly in place. A very strong neck was necessary to carry this honorable head piece the entire day. Some crowns were owned privately, but many were owned by the church. Usually the crowns would be rented out and the price was usually one “daler”- Norwegian money unit prior to 1875.”
The idea for the floral motif actually came from seeing some beautiful designs in hooked rugs, so it is very much a marrying (hehe) of Norwegian and American style, done in my own folk art way. I’m so pleased with her, and have ideas for more! I think she’ll make a great start to my more spring/summer Scandinavian folk art collection.
And speaking of– please stop by my new blog Scandinavian Folk where I share my love even more for all things Scandinavian.
Til next time,