Then they both laughed heartilyIllustration for "The Companion" Series title

  • Artist: Erik Werenskiold
  • Creation date: 1886
  • Object type: Drawing

Not on display


The princess and the troll are clearly in high spirits as they sit inside the mountain and laugh at the suitor she has just put to the test.

“A new suitor has arrived to seek my hand, my friend,’ said the princess. ‘He is young and beautiful, but I don’t want anyone but you,’ she said, as she made herself attractive to the mountain troll. ‘So I put him to the test, and there are the scissors he was supposed to hide and watch over. But now you can watch over them!’ she said. And then they both laughed heartily.”

Both content and style imbue this small drawing with a condensed atmosphere. Folktale illustrations were drawn at the size they would later be reproduced at, before being transferred to a xylograph (engraving) for reproduction in a book. Erik Werenskiold has taken this into consideration in his pencilling: his varied hatching breathes life into the figures, while the contrast between light and shadow accentuates the paradoxical nature of the motif.

In 1878 Werenskiold had been commissioned by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen to illustrate some of the Norwegian folktales. In addition to being one of the premier illustrators in Norwegian art history, Werenskiold has along with Theodor Kittelsen helped visualize the imaginary characters from the world of folktales, enabling them to achieve a prominent place in Norwegian cultural history.

The museum has a wealth of folktale illustrations. Eight drawings of “The Companion”, including three preparatory studies, are to be found in the collection. This particular drawing was purchased in 1888.

Text: Møyfrid Tveit

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", Nasjonalmuseet 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-088-0


Erik Werenskiold

Visual artist

Born 1855 in Eidskog, Hedmark, death 1938 in Oslo

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Så lo de så inderlig godt begge to (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Penn på papir
  • Width: 86 mm
  • Height: 99 mm
Motif - type:
Purchased 1888
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Ivarsøy, Dag Andre

"Then they both laughed heartily" relates to: