Mathias Skeibrok

Mathias Severin Berntsen Skeibrok (1851-1896) is from Lista, Norway. He is known as one the most prominent sculptors in Norway. Skeibrok grew up on a farm not far from here.

Mathias Skeibrok was born on 1 December 1851. He lived most of his life in Kristiania (Oslo) but he never forgot his roots. Skeibrok died on 22 March 1896 at the age of 44.

“Tired”, by Mathias Skeibrok, 1884.

Skeibrok was a versatile artist and considered one of the country’s foremost realist sculptors mostly depicting motifs from everyday life. He also created a significant body of work with motifs from Nordic history and mythology. He also produced portraits busts and small humoristic figurines often inspired by impressions from village life in his childhood.

Even though Skeibrok lived and worked in Kristiania, Paris and Copenhagen he spent many a summer at his home in the countryside. He enjoyed reuniting with childhood friends and spending time in a drying barn he used as an art studio.

Skeibrok published two books of tall tales about village life. His friend Theodor Kittilsen illustrated them. The books became quite popular in Norway, but they were not praised by the locals. They disliked how the author combined Christianity, drunkenness and swearing.

The University of Oslo

Foto: Vidar Iversen

Skeibrok’s greatest work is the bronze pediment group on the facade of the University of Oslo. The motif of this work is Athena defeating the man created by Prometheus (1894). Many of Skeibrok’s works can be seen in the exhibition at the Nordberg Fortress.