Icelandic painter, a pioneering figure in his country's art. He had been interested in drawing since childhood and in 1885 he gave up his career as a bookbinder to devote himself to art. There being nowhere to train in Iceland, he went to Copenhagen and studied first at the Academy and then at a private school. On his return to Iceland in 1900 he had a one-man show in Reykjavik—the first exhibition by an Icelandic artist ever to be held in Iceland. For the rest of his life he was the leading spirit in Icelandic art, notably in helping to found the Listvinafélag (Friends of Art Society), which was established in Reykjavik in 1916 and built the country's first exhibition hall, the Listvinahús. His work included portraits, interiors, and moody, almost mystical views of the Icelandic landscape, imbued with national feeling (Iceland was at this time struggling for independence from Denmark). He exerted a great influence on the next generation of Icelandic painters, including Ásgrímur Jónsson (1876–1958), Jóhannes Kjarval (1885–1972), and Jón Stefánsson (1881–1963). His work is well represented in the National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik.