A Norse Tale, Unveiled: Christianity's Usurpation and Conversion of the Scandinavian Tomte to Swedish Santa
Savannah, Georgia: Savannah College of Art and Design
Thesis (M.F.A.) -- Illustration
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Department of Illustration
Includes bibliographical references (pages 69-71)
"The encroachment of the Christian religion on Old Norse Custom extended to their cultural folktales and had an immense effect on the Scandinavian people. Through the evolution of one artist’s illustrations the appropriation of a pagan character of Norse folklore occurs, resulting in a visual progression of the Tomte’s journey devolution into a Christian figurehead. This thesis introduces and explains the pre-Christian Norse with emphasis on the people’s way of life. The focus to illuminate daily life and their ethnic religion serves to inform about the Norse identity thus allowing for better understanding of Scandinavian folklore. The second portion of this research focuses on how the artwork of Swedish artist, Jenny Nystrom illustrates Christianity’s slow conversion of the Scandinavian Tomte into Christmas’s Swedish Santa. The visual component of this thesis is a collection of fourteen fully rendered full-page illustrations and two spot illustrations. The thesis also includes a book pitch that contains sample book spreads for a collection of original retellings of Scandinavian folklore accompanied by original artwork to market to publishers."
*Keywords: Norse, Scandinavia, Tomte, folklore, Swedish Santa, religious encroachment, illustration, Jenny Nyström, culture, publishing
CHAIR: Powers, Daniel
Doll, Mary Aswell
PDF : 71 pages, color illustrations
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