Outlaws | 1901

Jónsson established his role as a sculptor of the world with the exhibition of Outlaws at the Charlottenborg art show in Copenhagen during 1901. Once again, the subject calls upon the old Icelandic folktales of the outlaws. Within the exhibition catalogue it is stated that the story is of a man who had been convicted of a crime and fled with his wife and child into the highlands of Iceland.

The work depicts the man on his way to a cemetery in a cover of darkness. He is carrying the lifeless body of his wife on his back, their child in his arms. Emphasis is laid on his weary footsteps and sorrowful expression. The naturalistic approach to the work allows each detail to be clearly visible. Overall, Outlaws calls for an emotional response from the viewer and can be interpreted as conveying the isolation and alienation felt by the one who has been condemned.

Jónsson received much praise from his countrymen for Outlaws, especially in his choice of subject matter. It was the artists wish that the Icelandic people would own the piece and in 1904 the work was purchased and presented to the Icelandic nation by businessman Ditlev Thomsen. In 1920 it was finally placed where it now stands, in the main showroom at the Einar Jónsson Art Museum.