Samuel Joensen-Mikines (1906-79): Home from the funeral. 1937. Oil on canvas, 237 x 176 cm. Donation by lawyer B. Husted-Andersen 1949.
The large canvas was a big gamble for a young, poor artist. But it is also a manifesto to life in the Faroe Islands in a harsh nature and under a stern God. The painting is done in the dark and rough naturalism of the times influenced by Expressonism.
Drowning and tuberculosis claimed many lives in those days, but the image of the voyage home is anything but journalistic. The oppressive darkness reduces the surroundings to almost nothing. The people's faces are grave masks, and the group of figures forms an elevated triangular composition. The whole is reinforced by a strict, sublime atmosphere inspired by Byzantian art.
The trip becomes a voyage through life where the mourners, on their way across a night-darkened sea, are heading for their own grave.