Monday's Feature Art Work: Ponies by Jon Stefansson

Each Monday we are going to bring you just one work of art: a painting, a sculpture, a piece of furniture, a piece of jewellery.

Often in this world of excessive information traffic swirling around on the internet we forget to stop to take the time to study just one creative piece.

Therefore before you start your working week of activities take in our Monday's Feature Art Work.

And also please welcome our latest subscriber to join our online art community - S.M. from the glorious state of Queensland.

The painting of Icelandic Ponies below was created by Jón Stefánsson (1881–1962) one of Iceland's first modern landscape artists and one of the founders of modern art in Iceland.

Icelandic Ponies by Jon Stephansson (

I have chosen this painting for many reasons not least of which I believe we need to explore and learn more about the artists from the Nordic countries. I love this painting for its minimalism. The subject matter of the two very sturdy ponies against the stark and dominating mountain range seems to me to be symbolic of life in these harsh weather conditions. The limited palette adds to the narrative that here, especially in the winter, the great beauty is in the whole not the detail. Without the foreboding storm clouds the ponies would lose some of their strength which is an interesting feature of the painting. Imagine what this scene would look like without the dark and menacing clouds. A far more benign scene emerges.

Intellectually we know that the ponies are wild animals yet Stephansson has given them gentle faces which belie their true nature which is tough and resilient against the elements .

Jón Stefánsson's was born in 1881 in Sauðárkrókur. As a student he first studied engineering in Copenhagen, before turning in 1903 to art. He studied at the Teknisk Selekb Skole and at Kristian Zahrtmann's school before meeting Jean Heiberg in Norway in 1908. Together with Henrik Sørensen and Gösta Sandels they went to Paris to study under Matisse. In 1919 Jón's work was exhibited in the Kunstnernes Efterårsudstilling in the Den Frie Udstilling in Copenhagen.The National Gallery of Iceland has a large collection of Jón Stefánsson's work.1

If you have time today check out the bookmark below which offers you a short view of 120 Years of Icelandic Art by Stefan Karlsson.

120 Years of Icelandic Art - 9 Favourite Artists and Artworks
My most influential Icelandic artists and their key works