Galleri Dagfinn Bakke and his story

«I convey experiences from nature. I perceive the scenery in all its facets, the drama, the changes, the forces.»

In Svolvær, the administrative centre of Vågan municipality, you’ll find Gallery Dagfinn Bakke. Here, the remarkable talents of the renowned artist himself come to life, inviting visitors on a journey through his legacy.

Dagfinn Bakke was a remarkable artist known for his unique talent in capturing the essence of his surroundings. Through his artistic skills, he breathed life into landscapes, portraying the changes and forces that shaped them. His brush strokes and meticulously crafted lithographs brought nature’s multifaceted beauty to life, transforming it into a living canvas.

*Photo Cred:
Banner: Aurora Stenersen
Chapter 3 & 6: Aurora Stenersen
Chapter 1: Kjell Ove Storvik
Chapter 2 & 4: Private

Chapter 5: Lars Bjørn Martinsen – NRK Nordland

Keep on scrolling to get the full story 🎨👇


Dagfinn Bakke’s journey began on the 16th of August, 1933, in the peaceful town of Lødingen.

Dagfinn Bakke, affectionately known by his signature “DAN,” possessed a rare gift for bringing life to his art. His artistic expressions were infused with a unique essence that resonated with viewers. With just a stroke of his pen, he could create humorous illustrations that found their way into books and magazines, filling readers with delight. For more than three decades, from 1956 to 1992, he held the esteemed position of a cartoonist for Lofotposten (local newspaper in Lofoten), where his work spread laughter and joy among its readers.

As a person, Dagfinn was dedicated to artistic projects, both his own and those undertaken with colleagues. Yet, he remained mostly unassuming, modest, and quietly humble about his own achievements. As an illustrator however, Dagfinn Bakke painted with vibrant hues of humor, infusing his aquatints and ink strokes with an infectious playfulness that brought tales to life. His witty drawings revealed glimpses of his soul, reflecting a spirit as colorful as the Northern Lights that adorned his beloved Lofoten.

Dagfinn’s artistic repertoire extended beyond humor; he was also a skilled artist who excelled in watercolors and graphics. His enchanting landscapes truly captured the essence of his cherished surroundings. Each brushstroke on the canvas echoed the rhythm of the waves and the whispers of the wind that caressed the shores of Lofoten.

Dagfinn’s artistic talent knew no bounds, attracting admirers from near and far. His captivating works earned him solo exhibitions in various corners of the world, where curious and appreciative audiences could witness the beauty of his craft firsthand.

In Svolvær, Dagfinn nurtured his passion for painting and illustrating, showcasing his deep connection to the land that shaped him. His beloved Lofoten served as the perpetual backdrop of his life’s work, an eternal muse that inspired every stroke of his creativity.

As the years passed, Dagfinn’s passion for art and humor remained unwavering. His illustrations for the beloved books about Oluf, penned by the esteemed Arthur Arntzen, added an extra dimension to the stories, transforming them into cherished classics.

In 2015, in acknowledgment of his invaluable contributions to the cultural fabric of the region, Dagfinn Bakke was honored with the prestigious Petter Dass Medal by Nordlændingernes Forening. This recognition was well-deserved for an artist who had skillfully woven laughter and wonder into the lives of countless readers and art enthusiasts.

On January 1st, 2019, Dagfinn Bakke’s journey in this world came to a close. Although he may no longer be with us, his artistic legacy lives on. Today, his family carries the torch, preserving his profound impact on the world of art. The name Dagfinn Bakke and the cherished landscapes of Lofoten remain forever intertwined, woven into the tapestry of artistic brilliance and boundless imagination.

Want to bring some history back home when visiting Svolvær?

As you step inside, you are instantly captivated by the extensive collection of Dagfinn Bakke’s artistic creations. An intricate tapestry of lithographs, watercolors, linocuts, and newspaper drawings awaits, each piece telling a unique story. The gallery showcases the rich diversity of his work, offering a glimpse into the soul of an artist who was deeply rooted in his surroundings.

The watercolors beautifully depict the dance of the Northern Lights, creating a sense of magic and wonder. As you explore further, you’ll encounter darker paintings inspired by the Arctic winters, evoking a mysterious and contemplative atmosphere.

If you find yourself drawn to the magnetic charm of Lofoten and yearn to witness the magic of its landscapes, allow Galleri Dagfinn Bakke to be your guide. Prepare to be enchanted, inspired, and immersed in the very soul of Northern Norway – a journey that starts and ends with the exquisite artistry of Dagfinn Bakke.

Work from other artist you’ll find in the Gallery include

Jonny Andvik, Åke Berg, Ståle Blæsterdalen, Kari Rindahl Endresen, Tove Hov Jacobsen, Kaare Espolin Johnson, Kristian Finborud, Jøran Flo, Dag Fyri, Dang Van Ty, Jon Olav Helle, Bente Helmersen, Kine Hellebust (photo graphics), Lars Øyvind Hopland, Jan Harr, Jan Helfjord, Else-Maj Johansson, Lars-Erik Karlsen, Harald Koldrup, Runi Langum, Eva Langaas, Tine Lundkvist, Karin Lykke Groth, Bjørnar K. Meisler, Elling Reitan, Thorstein Rittun, Gino Scarpa, Lind-Arnold Solstad, Kjell Ove Storvik (Photo), Ola Strand, Jan-Martin Ulvåg, Gunn Vottestad, Wenche Øyen, Skule Waksvik (Sculptures), Grethe Winther-Svendsen (Ceramics)