151413121110090807060504030201AltarThe Nidaros Bishop’s robeThe Nidaros Bishop’s robeEllingsøy ChurchEllingsøy kirkeEllingsøy kirkeInnset Church, RennebuInnset kirkeKonnerud Church, DrammenKonnerud Church, DrammenThe Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Nidaros CathedralThe Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Nidaros CathedralJohanneskapellet i NidarosdomenPaintings for a CathedralI begynnelsenI begynnelsen - I domenSyndefalletSyndefallet - I domenNoas arkBabels tårnGullkalven (triptyk)Gullkalven (triptyk) - I domenBebudelsenBebudelsen - I domenFlukten til Egypt og Jesu fødselFlukten til Egypt og Jesu fødsel - I domenAgnus DeiNattverden (triptyk)KorsfestelsenThe ResurrectionOppstandelsen - I domenVest Agder Electric Power Company, KristiansandFaculty of Medicine NTNU, TrondheimSvartlamoenSvartlamoenRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloRikshospitalet, OsloMemorial for Bjarne NessIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimIla School, TrondheimInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South TrøndelagInternal Revenue Office, South Trøndelag
Faculty of Medicine NTNU (MTFS), Trondheim

Imhotep is a decoration in the auditorium of the Faculty of Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The work measures 3,8 x 6,7 meters, covering the entire breadth of the auditorium. A huge, whole-woven linen canvas was specially ordered from France, painted in his studio, and thereafter glued directly onto the wall.

The canvas radiates toward us, almost untreated, such that all our attention is concentrated on the main motif. Imhotep is rather loosely painted. Several layers of thin glazes have freely followed the law of gravity and formed a light, delicate veil in warm, brown tones. Meanwhile, the artist’s determined and pastos brush strokes are placed in such a way as to pull the composition together again. At first glance the picture is almost an abstract expression, yet if one looks closely the motif materializes. A figure sits in a long-legged chair with dark red upholstery. The man’s age is indeterminable because the features of a child and an old man are woven into an unbreakable unity. Perhaps this alludes to medicine’s millennial history, but that it nevertheless remains young on account of continuous innovation through research? A bird skeleton is placed next to the man, in front of them both floats a bowl with two eggs. These elements strengthen the historical perspective, but also stress the cycle of life and death, another basic precondition for medicine.

It seems as though the man is sitting cross-legged, an impression that can create associations with the work’s title Imhotep. Imhotep was an Egyptian doctor and universal genius from about 3000 BC. In many extant sculptures and reliefs he is depicted sitting in this position. About 525 BC he was deified and worshiped as the protector of scribes, doctors and the learned – in other words, he is a fitting motif for a medical research centre.