"Powellite" Bagnall 3ft gauge locomotive at Black Sands, Victoria - 1938. Photograph: P.G. Dow

27 July, 2010

More about Ole Bull's modest cottage

This visit prompted much photography, both on the walking tracks on the island, and of the house, both inside and out.

Two years previously I had visited Edvard Grieg's house "Troldhaugen", which is much closer to Bergen. There, they did not allow photography inside the house, and I expected the same restriction here, but that was not the case. Photographing the extraordinary features of the house was quite challenging, and a wide angle lens was essential. Many of the photographs were taken with the Pentax 10-17mm zoom fish-eye lens, and it will be interesting to see how successful they might turn out to be when de-fished.

This visit was extremely interesting, and the location of the house was magnificent. But it was interesting that when I visited "Troldhaugen" I found that a deeply emotional event. "Lysøen" was not. There are probably two reasons for this. Firstly I already knew Grieg's music and liked it a lot (the first LP I ever bought was the Pier Gynt Suite). Secondly I think Grieg's taste in architecture was much better developed than Bull's. "Troldhaugen" is a beautiful timber house, without the over-the-top decoration of "Lysøen". Both use timber extensively inside, but in "Lysøen" it draws attention to itself, it yells at you. In "Troldhaugen", to my mind, it provides a superbly beautiful backdrop.

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