Portrait of Mrs. Ingeborg Møinichen, b. Røring other
- Artist: Matthias Stoltenberg
- Creation date: 1831
- Object type: Painting
Thomas Heinrich Møinichen (1758–1845) was a stipendiary magistrate in Sør-Gudbrandsdal from 1806 to 1841. The family settled at Onsum, one of the largest farmsteads in Fåberg. When Matthias Stoltenberg painted this portrait, in 1831, Møinichen was in his early seventies. Stoltenberg has depicted him in full-face view against a dark, neutral background. The black jacket has a golden collar and metal buttons. The sitter’s face is pale, and his expression is solemn; he has bushy eyebrows, dark, round eyes, a pronounced nose, a small, almost pursed mouth, and a double chin. This is a formal yet realistic portrait of the aging magistrate, depicted with a subdued palette.
The same year Stoltenberg also painted Møinichen’s wife, Ingeborg Birgitte (née Røring, 1766–1832). The couple married around 1790 and had nine children. One of their granddaughters married the wellknown author Jonas Lie; in fact, one of Lie’s novels, Dyre Rein, takes place in the 1820s on a magistrate’s estate that was modelled on Onsum.
Like her husband, Stoltenberg has portrayed Ingeborg Møinichen in full-face view, with contrasts between light and dark colours. Also she has dark, round eyes and a gaze that peers out of the picture, but not directly toward the viewer. Her complexion is pale, with a touch of pink in her cheeks, and her mouth curves slightly as in a faint smile. Her hair, which is dark despite her relatively advanced age, swirls neatly forth from beneath her carefully crafted bonnet and its lace and organza in red and white. This was the fashion of the day, and Stoltenberg portrayed several women with similar headdresses and coiffures. Mrs Møinichen’s powerful visage is mitigated by being framed by the bonnet and bow. She was sixty-five years old at the time of the portrait and passed away the following year.
Matthias Stoltenberg was born in Tønsberg, the son of a merchant who was a member of the Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll in 1814. Matthias became deaf as a child, and was later sent to Copenhagen to serve as an apprentice to a carpenter. In Copenhagen he also learned to paint portraits from Christian August Lorentzen. When his family fell upon harder times, the young Stoltenberg returned home to Norway and earned his living as an itinerant carpenter and portraitist. He portrayed both children and adults, including several of the magistrates of the era. His pictures from the 1830s bear the imprint of Danish portraiture and are regarded as some of the artist’s finest work. After languishing in obscurity for decades, Stoltenberg was rediscovered in conjunction with the Centennial Exhibition in 1914.
Born 1799 in Tønsberg, death 1871 in Vang, Oppland