Henrik Sørensen was a Norwegian painter born on 12th February, 1882, in Fryksände, Sweden. Sørensen studied drawing at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Kristiania during 1904 and after a two-year hiatus, again from 1906 to 1908. During his 2 years away from Kristiania, he studied with Kristian Zahrtmann in Copenhagen (1904-1905), and became fascinated by the French impressionists while studying at the art school Académie Colarossi in Paris during the autumn of 1905.
For two years post 1908, he studied painting with Henri Matisse in Paris and it was during this time that his first major success was with his painting Svartbækken. Two years later Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke, an avid art collector, purchased Sørensen’s Varietéartist. Examples of Sørensen’s work is on display in various Scandinavian museums as well as the National Gallery of Norway.
- He was also commissioned to decorate the large back wall in the Great Hall of the Oslo City Hall aka Oslo rådhus. (see featured artwork entitled ‘Work. Administration. Celebration’).
- The Great Hall serves as the venue for major functions, including the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.
- Later on, Sørensen became a book illustrator; and
- One of his paintings was used on the Norwegian 10 Kroner notes from 1954-1973.
- Sørensen died 12 days after his 80th birthday on the 24th February, 1962.
- May his epitaph read “Work. Administration. Celebration“, or in my words, “Live, Work & Play.”… or maybe it represents today’s modern term of “work/life balance” – you be the judge.