Iceland Volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Literature and Arts (Picture and Painting) Skip to content

Iceland Volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Literature and Arts (Picture and Painting)

Eyjafjallajökull glacier is one of the most beautiful mountains in Iceland. It has inspried Icelandic artists through the ages. Many artists have painted the glacier seen from Múlakot in Fljótshlíd where the artist and farmer Ólafur Túbals lived until 1964.

Eyjafjallajökull seen from Thórsmörk. Photo: Benedikt Jóhannesson/Iceland Review

The Icelandic Poet Thórdur Helgason (born 1946) composed the poem:

The Painter

Sometimes the Painter came to visit

a mysterious man with a moustache

people whispered

said that he was no farmer

on the farms he asked for alcohol

to clean his brushes

but Eyjafjöllajökull he could paint


Eyjafjalljökull seen from Múlakot in Fljótshlíd by Ólafur Túbals

Halldór Laxness, Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner in literature famously wrote about Snæfellsjökull glacier in his novel Under the Glacier. However it is said that he previously wrote about his climb to the top of Eyjafjallajökull in the novel World Light, who many think is his best novel. In this book the “hero” is the writer Ólafur Kárason, a loser in most of what he does. In the end he climbs up the glacier:

“The weather is still and the moon in high south throws cold blue light. He went directly to the mountain. Below were the long slopes, after that moss, then rocks and finally the unbroken snow. The image of the moon grew pale when day lit. Over the ocean a dark stormy cloud was forming. He walks onto the glacier, towards the crack of dawn, from one snowy hill to another, sinking deep into the fresh snow, not noticing the tempestuous weather that might follow him. A child he had stood by the seaside in Ljósavík, and watched the wave streaming back and forth, but now he was aiming away from the sea. Think about me when you are in strong sunlight. Soon the sun of Easter will shine over the bright trails where she waits for her poet.

And beauty alone will rule.”

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