Perhaps the best known of all the rå is the farmstead nisse or tomte. It is hardly surprising that a tomte takes his name from the Swedish word “tomt”, meaning a plot of land containing a home or other building. He watches over the farmstead and all the animals and people that live there. Farms that house a nisse can consider themselves very lucky indeed be- cause he brings prosperity, and can even warn of an impending accident.
He – for it is always a he – normally appears as a small, wizened old man dressed in shabby grey clothes, and is often seen wearing a pointy red hat. A particularly ancient nisse can have a beard that is so long he can wind it several times around his body.
The nisse is notoriously grumpy and bad-tempered, and prefers to keep himself to himself. He usually sets up home in the guest house, barn or stables, and prefers to work at night when no-one can bother him. Even though he is helpful at heart, his true concern is the survival and prosperity of the farmstead itself, rather than the people who happen to be living there at any given time.
The illustration is from the book Vaesen.
The art print is in A3 format (29,7 x 42 cm / 11.7 x 16.5") and is printed on fine art paper, Munken Pure 300 gsm. The print is signed by the artist. Click the image to see the layout of the print, the print does not fill up the whole sheet of paper.