Rolf Nesch, Skaugum, a metal print

Norway, AD 1933-34

Innovative and expressive interpretation of the Norwegian winter landscape

Skaugum is from the series Snow, twenty metal prints drawn from the landscape around Oslo. Skaugum is the name of a farm, the official residence of the Crown Prince. The series was made shortly after Rolf Nesch (1893-1975) moved to Oslo, following the rise of National Socialism in Germany; he chose Norway because of his admiration for Munch whose patron and cataloguer in Hamburg, Gustav Schiefler, was also a supporter of Nesch. This was his first experience of the Norwegian landscape in winter, and he was deeply affected by the stillness and solitude, and fascinated by the individual character of the trees and contours of the landscape.

Nesch was an experimental printmaker whose pre-Second World War career was very dependent on the patronage he received from a number of collectors in Hamburg where he himself lived from 1929 to 1933. In his early work he painted and made graphic art, but increasingly concentrated on printmaking. He began to explore the medium, deeply etching through the plates and using colour. Taking his experiments to an extreme, he invented 'metal' prints using tools such as drills, fretsaws and soldering irons to impart a sculptural quality to his plates. The original zinc plate for Skaugum (on deposit in the Nasjongalleriet, Oslo), uses copper wire threaded through holes in the plate. This technique creates contours on the metal surface, lending a sense of energy to the landscape.

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Rolf Nesch, Skaugum, a metal print

© 2001 Rolf Nesch / DACS


More information


U. Bestgen and C. Rathke (eds.), Rolf Nesch 1893-1975, exh. cat. (Schleswig-Holsteines Landesmuseum, 1993)

F. Carey, Modern Scandinavian prints, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

E.O. Hjelle, Rolf Nesch (Gyldendal, 1998)

J. Askeland, The graphic art of Rolf Nesch, exh. cat. (Detroit Institute of Art, 1969)

F. Carey and A. Griffiths, The print in Germany 1880-1933, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)


Height: 580.000 mm
Width: 431.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1994-5-15-40



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