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Telemark Rosemaling is probably the most talked about style of rosemaling and is recognized by a “C” scroll as part of the central design with the “S” strokes built from it. This style is known for its freedom with graceful lines, elegant stems, overlapping scrolls, and imaginary, fantasy-like flowers.

Rosemaling from Telemark is usually asymmetrical in design and may be painted in a transparent method or in a shaded and opaque manner. The colors are balanced throughout the design.

It is a often a delicate technique painted in subdued, earthy colors. Each artist develops a personal and intricate style including delicate detail within the scrolls and flowers as well as throughout the design.


It was popular for peasants to decorate their homes in Norway during the 17th century to make them brighter and more colorful. This was especially important during the long, dark winter days.
The rosemaling in the Hallingdal valley is painted with fresh, bold, opaque colors and forms. The scrolls have little shading. The paintings are completed with detail that is bold and rather heavy. It is usually painted in symmetrical designs divisible by 2, 4, and 6, etc. Hallingdal rosemaling is often painted on a warm red-orange background but may also be found on other colors such as a “farmer blue.”


Stylized flowers as tulips, round petal flowers, daisies, and stylized roses characterize Rogaland rosemaling. These flowers take precedence over the scrolls in the design. Rogaland rosemaling is usually painted on dark backgrounds with opaque color and in a symmetrical manner.

It is obvious that the Rogaland painters were influenced greatly by painters from Telemark, Hallingdal, and Vest-Adger


Valdres rosemaling is a simple style painted with a few colors, less scrolls, and larger flowers: tulips, roses, and mums. The flowers are often painted in a cluster, hang on ropes, gathered in an urn, or as a garland. Landscapes are often painted in a single color and may have stylized trees and stumps that have an oriental appearance.

Lettering on bowls in Valdres rosemaling is upside down, while on plates, lettering is upside down starting at right and go around.


Rosemaling in Gudbrandsdalen closely resembles wood carving with its grand intertwining scrolls.

It is often found on dark backgrounds: blue, red, green, black-green, and dirty white painted with soft, simple colors and a shading or overlay that give depth to the designs. Acanthus scrolls and leaves are predominate. The flowers are tulips and 6-8 petal roses.


Rosemaling known as Os is found in Hordaland. It is the most distinctive and fascinating style found in the western part of Norway.

This style is painted with strong, bright, transparent colors in a variety of flowers. The leaves have visible nerves.Os rosemaling is painted on either white, red, or black backgrounds. The designs often include geometric shapes, churches, and houses as focal points. The style is simple, clean, and cheerful.

The famous violinist, Ole Bull, lived in this area.  His home is now a Museum.


The rosemaling in Vest Adger is characteristically symmetrical and geometric. It is painted with a few simple bright, opaque colors often on dark backgrounds.

The leaves are divided in half lengthwise with each half painted a different color. Detail and teardrops always decorate both sides of the leaves and flowers. Often figures were used in the designs.


Rosemaling from the Gudbrandsdalen valley greatly influenced the rosemaling in Romsdal as well as works of itinerant painters and cultural influences of commercial travelers.

The old pieces that are found in the area often have urns with flowers, animals, and simple scrolls often painted on dark background.

It is this area that my maternal grandmother is from and my first Norwegian rosemaling teacher.  I have been told his influence is still seen in my work, especially the rounded shape to the flowers that I always do.

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