Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen on auction

Author Bjarne Nielsen Brovst has studied and described Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s life and works close up. Now graphic works are being offered from his collection on online-auction 721.


Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s talent for drawing was noticed while still in his early years when his family was on holiday on Bornholm with Oluf Høst in person. It soon became clear that Sven wanted to paint, but his stepfather worried that the milieu on Bornholm “where there was a painter behind every rock” would have a negative influence on the young painter’s soul. So the head of the family took the 15-year-old boy to the Faeroes and the far from artistic decadence of the whaling station at Lopra.

The encounter with the Faeroes was to prove vitally important in the life of the young man, who, with the passing of the years, came to regard the Atlantic islands as his second home. Here he found reality unspoilt and harsh, stripped of the filter of civilisation: an environment were nature ruled and provided that raw power and transcendental inspiration for his artistic career, which would bring him such great recognition.

Bjarne Nielsen Brovst’s comprehensive portrait of Havsteen-Mikkelsen gives a detailed picture of the rich results of his encounter with the Faeroes. For many years, the writer had free access to the artist’s reminiscences, sketches and diaries. Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s tales give a unique insight into a distinctive culture with the sea at the centre:

“Tonight a terrible wind has blown up. Autumn has fallen like a hammer. Never have things seemed so cheerless and ghastly as tonight. The rocks around us are like an enormous animal with its snout in the clouds, the other rocks are ghostlike and now and then disappear entirely into the mist only to suddenly surge forward again towards the ship….”. (Sven Havsteen-Mikkelsen 1912-1932, p. 203).

Bjarne Nielsen Brovst is selling the present works from his collection with the termination of his 35-year career as principal of Rude High School. Nielsen Brovst gives frequent lectures and is in the process of completing his latest novel, which will be published in the autumn.


For further information, please contact:

Peter Beck: +45 7020 6911 ·