Thor's Fight with the Giants

Last updated
Thor's Fight with the Giants Marten Eskil Winge - Tor's Fight with the Giants - Google Art Project.jpg
Thor's Fight with the Giants

Thor's Fight with the Giants (Swedish : Tors strid med jättarna) is an 1872 painting by the Swedish artist Mårten Eskil Winge. It depicts the Norse god Thor in a battle against the jötnar. The thunder god rides his chariot pulled by the goats Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, wears his belt Megingjörð and swings his hammer Mjölnir. The painting was made using oil on canvas, has the dimensions 484 x 333 centimeters and belongs to Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

Swedish language North Germanic language spoken in Sweden

Swedish is a North Germanic language spoken natively by 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden, and in parts of Finland, where it has equal legal standing with Finnish. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and to some extent with Danish, although the degree of mutual intelligibility is largely dependent on the dialect and accent of the speaker. Both Norwegian and Danish are generally easier for Swedish speakers to read than to listen to because of difference in accent and tone when speaking. Swedish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. It has the most speakers of the North Germanic languages.

Mårten Eskil Winge Swedish artist

Mårten Eskil Winge was a Swedish artist. He was a professor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. He was associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. His art was influenced by the Norse mythology themes also found in works by Nils Blommér (1816–1853) and Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858).

Norse mythology body of mythology of the North Germanic people stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period

Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.



Winge was a professor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, where history painting was regarded as the most important genre of art. He also belonged to the Swedish national liberal movement in which Norse myths and legends were frequently used as motifs. [1] The painting was finished in 1872 and bought by king Charles XV, who died the same year and bequeathed it to Nationalmuseum. [2]

History painting genre in painting defined by historical matter

History painting is a genre in painting defined by its subject matter rather than artistic style. History paintings usually depict a moment in a narrative story, rather than a specific and static subject, as in a portrait. The term is derived from the wider senses of the word historia in Latin and Italian, meaning "story" or "narrative", and essentially means "story painting". Most history paintings are not of scenes from history, especially paintings from before about 1850.

National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal policies and issues with elements of nationalism and/or a term used to describe a series of European political parties that have been especially active in the 19th century in several national contexts such as Central Europe, the Nordic countries and Southeast Europe.

Charles XV of Sweden King of Sweden and Norway between 1859-1872

Charles XV & IV also Carl ; Swedish: Karl XV and Norwegian: Karl IV was King of Sweden and Norway from 1859 until his death. Though known as King Charles XV in Sweden, he was actually the ninth Swedish king by that name, as his predecessor Charles IX had adopted a numeral according to a fictitious history of Sweden.


The painting was exhibited publicly at Nationalmuseum in 1872. It was received positively in the press and immediately drew large crowds, creating queues that could take hours to get through. The young August Strindberg wrote a positive review where he interpreted the motif as a depiction of truth's struggle against the lie. [1]

August Strindberg Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter

Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over sixty plays and more than thirty works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. A bold experimenter and iconoclast throughout, he explored a wide range of dramatic methods and purposes, from naturalistic tragedy, monodrama, and history plays, to his anticipations of expressionist and surrealist dramatic techniques. From his earliest work, Strindberg developed innovative forms of dramatic action, language, and visual composition. He is considered the "father" of modern Swedish literature and his The Red Room (1879) has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel.

In the 20th century the painting became popular among contemporary nationalists. [2] The art historian Per Hedström wrote in Dagens Nyheter in 1992 that the painting, which was no longer exhibited publicly, had become popular among skinheads. Hedström wrote that the dark jötnar could be interpreted as immigrants, and speculated that the swastika on Thor's belt might add further to the appeal. Hedström wrote: "So can the meaning of an image shift from being a symbol for liberty and enlightenment to becoming a symbol for xenophobia and right-wing extremism. From being an image for an elite to becoming a cult image within a subculture." [1]

<i>Dagens Nyheter</i> Swedish newspaper

Dagens Nyheter, abbreviated DN, is a daily newspaper in Sweden. It is published in Stockholm and aspires to full national and international coverage.

Skinhead member of a subculture that originated among working class youths in London

Not to be confused with Black Skinhead.

Swastika Equilateral cross with four arms bent at 90 degrees; used as a religious symbol in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and other religions, and it is and has been used in numerous cultures, whether religiously or otherwise; adopted by several organizations in pre–World War I Europe and later by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany

The swastika or sauwastika is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia. It is used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions. In the Western world, it was a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck until the 1930s, when it became a feature of Nazi symbolism as an emblem of Aryan identity and, as a result, was stigmatized by its association with racism and antisemitism.

See also

Swastika (Germanic Iron Age) in Germanic Iron Age

The swastika design is known from artefacts of various cultures since the Neolithic, and it recurs with some frequency on artefacts dated to the Germanic Iron Age, i.e. the Migration period to Viking Age period in Scandinavia, including the Vendel era in Sweden, attested from as early as the 3rd century in Elder Futhark inscriptions and as late as the 9th century on Viking Age image stones.

Related Research Articles

Thor Hammer-wielding Nordic god associated with thunder

In Germanic mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind and also hallowing and fertility. Besides Old Norse Þórr, extensions of the god occur in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar. All forms of the deity stem from a Common Germanic *Þunraz.

Lill-Babs Swedish schlager singer

Barbro Margareta Svensson, better known as Lill-Babs, was a Swedish singer, actress and television presenter. From the early 1950s until her death in 2018, she was one of Sweden's best known and popular singers. She represented Sweden in the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes with the song "April, april". She was also well-known for the song "Är du kär i mej ännu Klas-Göran?".

Lisbeth Palme Swedish childrens psychologist, married to Olof Palme between 1956–1986

Anna Lisbeth Christina Palme, née Beck-Friis, was a Swedish children's psychologist, UNICEF chairwoman and the widow of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, who was assassinated in 1986.

Swedish Forn Sed Assembly

The Swedish Forn Sed Assembly, formerly Swedish Asatru Assembly is a heathen organization founded in 1994.

Olof Lagercrantz Swedish writer

Olof Gustaf Hugo Lagercrantz was a Swedish writer, critic, literary scholar and publicist.

Henrik Magnus von Buddenbrock Swedish general and noble

Henrik Magnus von Buddenbrock was a Swedish baron and Lieutenant General. He and Carl Emil Lewenhaupt were executed for negligence in the Russo-Swedish War, in the aftermath of the defeat at Villmanstrand.

Otto Torsten Andersson was a Swedish modernist painter, best known for his theme of the realistic depiction of abstract sculptures, and two-dimensional exploration of three-dimensional objects, where the colors seem to be superimposed on a random and perfunctory manner.

Anna Anka Swedish-American model, actress, and author

Anna Anka, is a Swedish-American model, actress, and author. She was married to Canadian singer Paul Anka. Anka is featured in the Swedish reality show Svenska Hollywoodfruar.

Kerstin Thorvall was an influential Swedish novelist.

<i>Vilja Bli</i> 2010 studio album by Oskar Linnros

Vilja Bli is the first solo album of the Swedish singer Oskar Linnros after leaving the group Snook. The album was released on June 9, 2010 in Sweden. So far four singles have been released, "Ack, Sundbyberg", "Från och med Du", "25" and "Genom eld". The entire album was written, played and produced by Oskar Linnros.

Fritz von Dardel Swedish artist

Fritz Ludvig von Dardel was a Swedish illustrator and early comics artist.

Göran Rosenberg Swedish author

Göran Jakob Rosenberg is a Swedish journalist and author.

Anders Fager Swedish horror writer

Anders Fager is a Swedish horror writer. After a career as an army officer and game designer he made his debut in 2009 with the short story collection Swedish Cults that received a most favourable review in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and launched Fager's career as full-time writer. Fager writes modern urban horror in a style he has repeatedly described as ”what would happen if James Ellroy took on H.P. Lovecraft”. Set in present-day Sweden, his interconnected stories form a modern part of the Cthulhu mythos with entities such as Dagon, Hastur and Nyarlathotep making appearances. Fager's fictional world, known as "The Cult's World", has been made into a role playing game and a graphic novel. His stories are currently being worked into the role playing game Call of Cthulhu.

Ann Heberlein Swedish author, ethicist and theologian

Ann Helen Heberlein is a Swedish academic and author, who writes extensively on theology and ethics. She is best known for her autobiographical account of life with bipolar disorder, Jag vill inte dö, jag vill bara inte leva.

Magdalena Ribbing Swedish writer and journalist

Magdalena Ribbing was a Swedish writer, journalist, etiquette expert and lecturer. She married radio journalist Thomas Hempel in 1981.

Nyheter Idag is a Swedish-language online newspaper. The magazine was founded in February 2014 by Chang Frick and Jakob Bergman, and they say their news reports focuses on "politics, gossip, social media and foreign news". The publication describes itself as based on a libertarian principles, and the employees have a background in different organizations. Expo grouped Nyheter Idag with "right-wing populist and far right alternative media", but also stated that it was the news site most difficult to fit into that mold. It has been labelled a racist site. Trip to Russia In October 2017, Nyheter Idag published an article titled "The swedish diplomat". In the article, the journalist and founder of Nyheter Idag, Chang Frick wrote about his and Sweden Democrat MP Pavel Gamov's travel to Russia. Gamov was going to inspect the Moscow regional election 2017, despite being advised not to. Frick accused Gamov of acting irresponsibly by getting wasted, calling sex workers to his hotel room and demanding that the host country pay for his bar check. The subsequent media attention led to the Sweden Democrats leadership forcing Pavel's resignation.

Ida Redig Swedish female singer, songwriter and record producer

Ida Carolina Redig, also known as GIRL, is a Swedish singer, actress, music producer and songwriter. She participated in Melodifestivalen 2018 in the second semifinal with the song "Allting som vi sa", where she placed fifth and got eliminated.

2019 European Parliament election in Sweden European Parliament election in Sweden of 2019

European Parliament elections will be held in Sweden in May 2019 to elect the country's twenty-one members of the European Parliament.

Stina Oscarson Swedish writer

Stina Elisabet Oscarson, is a Swedish theater director, author, and debater.


  1. 1 2 3 Hedström, Per (1992-09-27). "Galleriet". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-03-02. Så kan en bilds betydelse förskjutas från att vara en symbol för frihet och upplysning till att bli en symbol för främlingsfientlighet och högerextremism. Från att vara en bild för en elit till att bli en kultbild inom en subkultur.
  2. 1 2 "Tor's Fight with the Giants". Nationalmuseum . Retrieved 2016-03-02.