Remorse | 1911-1947

During his student years in Copenhagen Jónsson began contemplating various moral and religious issues that were a part of the contemporary public debate. Radical opinions on those matters did not leave him untouched. Sketches of works are kept in his museum, showing man being weighed on judgment day and clearly indicating that he had given the matter much thought. As in the work Fate the idea concerns man’s responsibility to his own actions. A Similar idea lies behind the work Remorse, which Jónsson first drew in his sketchbook in 1906.

A man’s head can be seen in that sketch and on top of it lies a small being, a representation of remorse, who stretches down the man’s forehead and holds his eyes open. His feelings can be felt through his frightened expression as he is forced to confront his fears. Five years later Jónsson molded the work in clay and added another small being up against the ear of the man, to remind him of his evil doings. Jónsson also sharpened the facial features to emphasize the man’s negative feelings. In 1947 he finally made a larger version of the work but smoothed the rough facial features a little. The work is very emotional, and if compared to Jónsson’s other works, it is easily understood. The symbolism is obvious and the facial features of the man show his reactions to the responsibility he has gained because of his actions and all that remorse is demanding of him.