Black Birds

Sigurd Winge
2 min
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland
Year: 1935



After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Norwegian artists who had close links to their German counterparts would perhaps have found the following years particularly difficult. One of these Norwegian artists was Sigurd Winge 

Stein Winge:

Yes. My father was Sigurd Winge and my name is Stein Winge. 

The theatre director Stein Winge had a close relationship with his father. Although Stein had not yet been born when Sigurd Winge created this painting, Black Birds, in 1935, Stein can detect a somewhat hidden side of his father in the painting. 

Stein Winge: 

I think he must’ve been rather depressed. I can’t say that I saw it very often, because most of the time, he kept it to himself. He didn’t come home and go around sobbing, which would be one way of putting it. No. But he had a temper when he needed it. But to me he was simply a fantastic father.  

So I became very close to him, and I had a fierce admiration for him. Because he was so clear about what he wanted, and no doubt that’s how I was as a theatre director too. I have a temper myself, and most likely I got that from my father. 

One time when I was three years old, I was sitting in the garden at Skøyen (a neighbourhood in Oslo) and picking cherries. And the building manager that ran the building came out and gave me a really harsh telling off. My father heard him through the window, and was not at all in a good mood when he arrived downstairs. He’ll eat as much as he wants! Then he told the building manager to get lost. Go away! Basically, he threw him out of my sandbox. And I ate lots of cherries.  

I can still remember how I was sitting down there in the garden and then all hell breaking loose, he was just so furious. And that was even during the war of course. Why shouldn’t he eat the cherries? And it was in the autumn, of course. That’s when the cherries ripen.