The Kristiania Bohème

Kristian Krohg painted and was teaching only a stones throw away from Grand. Besides he committed artistic pieces which bothered the middle classes. Hans Jæger wrote books that attacked the moral of the time. 

Several of these were confiscated. Jæger had to go to jail, but spent his leave at Grand. Oda Krohg and her girlfriends painted their own paintings, and lived a very emancipated and spicy life around 120 years ago. These were part of the so-called Kristiania-Bohème. They were one of the reasons that the entrance steps up to Grand Cafe was nicknamed "fortapelsens trapp" ("the prodigal steps"). As many young artists they often lacked money, but nonetheless occuppied the corner table at Grand Café. The Kristiania-Bohème was a creative, artistic and emancipated group, especially in women's issues, and they lived by their own unique rules. The so-called 9 commandments, which they luckily not always lived by. The 9th was: "You shall take your own life", which they tried their hardest to obey by drinking vast quantities of a drink called pjolter at the Grand. There is some uncertainty as why it got the name pjolter, but it could be named after the head waiter P.J. Holter. A pjolter consisted of spirit and seltzers, often whiskey, but some of the artists also drank absinth, and more than a few of their paintings came to be under the influence. They sometimes has pjolter competitions, and the record is said to be 32 pjolters, and belongs to Jæger.

Per Krohg: Kristianiabohemen (utsnitt)

© Per Krohg / BONO


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