Norwegian Motif with a Watermill

Norwegian Motif with a Watermill

1909–1910Oil on canvas75 × 85 cmArt Museum of Estonia

It has not proved possible to pinpoint the painting site and the location of the motif is unknown.

Houses and other buildings appear on Mägi paintings in Norway and remain there through various painting periods. These still mainly amount to staffage: small elements added for reasons having to do with composition or colour. Yet in both Norway and Italy, buildings are often seen at the heart of the paintings. In Norway, however, Mägi does not trace the architectural features of the houses but uses the structures as elements of painting technique, intended to enliven the new geometric form or patches of colour. Norwegian Motif with a Watermill is one of the few paintings where we see a little more serious interest in the qualities of the building being depicted.

Typologically, mills are among the ancient building types familiar from Mägi paintings, dominated by farmhouses, barns and churches.