Gunnar Berg

Gunnar Berg

(1863 - 1893)

Born and raised in Svolvær, Lofoten, where his family ran a wholesale fish business, and owned a large part of the town.

After his apprenticeship in his father's shop in Svolvær, he moved to Bergen in 1882 to study economics and business.

He also studied drawing under painter and photographer G. J. Nicolaysen, and in 1883-1885 studied painting in Düsseldorf.

He then moved back to Lofoten where he built a studio at Svinøya with his parents' help. The studio has been modernised and restored. In the late winter of 1886, Berg worked in Lofoten with Otto Sinding.

Their paintings were often compared in newspaper articles and Berg was accused of copying Sinding. Apparently, their friendship cooled considerably as a result. Berg only lived until the age of 30.

In 1893, he contracted cancer, and had one of his legs amputated. Nevertheless, he moved to Berlin, where he died in the winter of the same year.

Berg is now regarded as the greatest of Northern Norway's painters, and one of the most important in Norway within his field. His painting "From the Port of Svolvær" is regarded as one of his best. He is buried in the families' chapel at Gunnarholmen. A bust was erected in his memory in 1994.