Dogs in Kangerdluarssuk Fjord

Rockwell Kent • Painting, 1933, 86×112 cm
About the artwork
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Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape, Animalism
Style of art: Realism, Symbolism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas, Plywood
Date of creation: 1933
Size: 86×112 cm
Artwork in selections: 13 selections
Audio guide

Description of the artwork «Dogs in Kangerdluarssuk Fjord»

In the early Northern landscapes of Rockwell Kent one can feel awe of the formidable and majestic beauty of nature. Finding himself for the first time in Alaska or Greenland, even such a brave traveler as Kent, felt, apart from excitement and delight, fear and loneliness. But there is no such awe in the painting Dogs in Kangerdluarssuk Fjord. The artist painted it during his second – rather lengthly - visit to Greenland. He, as they say, got used to it. He got his own house there, friends, and a local mistress. It felt like home, and the feverishness of the artist's first impressions gave way to calm, confident observation.

The dogs, comfortably located on the edge of the universe, are his own dogs. By the time Kent was a true driver and had 16 sled dogs. He'd been there many times, knew where to camp and how to turn a sled into an improvised easel. The landscape, which would simply crush the tourist, appeared to him, almost an aboriginal, delightful and inviting, but still ordinary.

Geometrically correct composition, chopped silhouettes of the rocks, exquisitely and deliberately restrained palette: Kent-painter fought there with Kent-graphic artist. And obviously lost to him. Here the artist, always standing on the position of realism, allowed himself some crony styling. He masterfully maneuvered between the epic and decorative. Such a relationship with nature is possible only when you know it thoroughly.

Rockwell Kent never knew how to stay in one place for long. An adventure, a thirst for action, a passion to change places and insatiable curiosity – all of it was in his blood. It is not easy to find a place on the globe where the artist didn't live at least for some time and didn't paint. From Alaska to Puerto Rico, from Brazil to the USSR – he’s been seemingly everywhere. However, nothing attracted him more than those fjords, dogs and the ice. He kept coming to Greenland over and over again. And tirelessly debunked the myth that it was an unattractive place and a death trap.
"I realize that by sharing my professional secrets, I dispel the widespread illusion that working in polar conditions requires special courage," Kent wrote, "In fact, it does not. Neither at home nor in other countries, where fate has brought me, it has never been so easy, so comfortable for me to paint, as in Greenland. "

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov