Davíðshúis – Home of Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet
Davíð Stefánsson 1895 – 1964, was Iceland’s leading poet and novelist publishing many volumes of his poetry.
He lived many years in this house in Akureyri northern Iceland and on his death the property was bequeathed to the municipality.
Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. The interior has been left a though he had just popped into town for a recital or milk and bread.
1000’s of books adorn the walls. His records are still in place. His bathroom and bedroom are preserved as original as is his kitchen, study and living room. In fact, the only major change is the bed. A single bed replacing his large double bed where upon he ‘entertained’ the many women folk whose company he enjoyed and allegedly the feeling was mutual.
Adoring a wall in his living room is a 17th century painting on wood of the ‘Last Supper’ by Hallgrimur Jonsson (1717 – 1785).
Unfortunately, I can find nothing on the Internet about this person which is a pity as to be an artist in such a remote place as northern Iceland in the 17th century, must have been quite a feat. Maybe a reader of this blog can shed some light on this.
Resting in Davíð’s studio is another painting by the same artist. These works ought to feature more highly as original Icelandic masterpieces given the probable limited art influences at this time and place, and maybe would help stamp the identity of this nation.
I’ve tried to find English translations of Davíð’s works but again to no avail as listening to a recording of him reading his poetry in his studio was indeed positively haunting and a memory that is going to remain with me and perhaps should be available to a wider audience.
Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet