Today’s Frida Hansen Transparency: Clematis and Birds of Paradise

As I walked by “Clematis and Birds of Paradise” (1924) in the Stavanger Art Museum, I was drawn to the birds with long flowing tails. The feathers are outlined perfectly by leaving just a small line of unwoven warp. Bits of shiny yarn are woven on each breast and crest. In the same way, the veins of the leaves are beautifully articulated.

In this detail, note how beautifully the weaving is done.

When you step back for a full view, or in my case, to take a photo of the whole piece–whoah! The abstracted, dark blue clematis blossoms leap out, and the birds within the pattern become hard to discern. Are those little vases down the center? No, they are bird breasts. The leaves are larger than the birds, but then, the blossoms are way bigger.

There is a repeat in the pattern, but the birds have varied blue-and-white wings.

7.5′ x 3.6′

It has an interesting, comb-like border design. It’s fun to examine the elements of the design, and also to appreciate the beauty of the whole.

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