Man in Wooden Shoes 1936

The man in the wooden shoe refers to the Danish nursery rhyme “dig og mig og vi to sejlede i en træsko"(you and me and the two of us sailed in a wooden shoe). The picture tells of journeying the world. As the brave tin soldier in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale sails the gutters in a folded newspaper, so this man in a hat travels the world in his wooden shoes. About the same time Heerup painted this painting, he received a travel grant that allowed him and his wife Mille to visit the town of Jelling. Their destination was the runic stone of Jelling and its monumental ornamentation. Heerup often spoke of this trip and in various art works compared the stone’s runic inscriptions to a carpet beater. Like the historian Rudolf Broby Johansen, Heerup saw great similarities between the carpet beater’s circular patterns and the carved depictions and interlaced ornaments on the famous stone of Harald Bluetooth.