This painting represents Balder (or Baldr in old Icelandic), a god of northern mythology related to Odin and living in the city of Asgard.
Balder appears in particular in a Eddic poem called Baldrs draumar (“the dreams of Baldr”).
This shows the major influence of northern mythology in each of Bengt Lindström’s works. When the painter does not portrait of the mythical gods, he mythologise… life and men!
This energetic and chaotic Baldr belongs to a series of 7 monumental works (each measuring 3 x 2,50 m) representing the Great Gods Ase which are displayed together at the Stockholm Museum of Art and History in Stockholm in 1983. Today sheltered in a small chapel built especially for them in 1996, these Great Gods welcome you all year round at the Art Center of Midlanda in Sweden.
The story of the god’s death:
Baldr is the son of Odin and Frigg. When Baldr starts dreaming of his own death, Odin is worried, goes to meet a (psychic) völva who predicts his son’s death. Frigg then takes an oath to all the elements, animals, vegétaux and minerals of the creation never to mess with Baldr. However, she forgets to consult the mistletoe she considered to be too frail. Loki, jealous of Baldr, uses Höd, the blind brother of Baldr, to throw a mistletoe stick at his enemy, who dies immediately.