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"Battle of Hjörungavágr" by Leon Goodman (now sold 4/11/12)

"Battle of Hjörungavágr" by Leon Goodman (now sold 4/11/12)





STUNNING HUGE NEW ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS "Battle of Hjörungavágr" .............



 gr 1

                 "Battle of Hjörungavágr" by Leon Goodman


This Absolute Masterpiece historic painting of the Battle of Hjörungavágr that took place in 986 A.D of the coast of Norway at Hareidlandet. The protagonists were all Vikings fought between the Norwegian Pagan Earls of Jade (see the 150 black sailed ships) versus the fabled JomsVikings. The Jomsvikings had 60 ships and was an invasion fleet sent from Denmark by Harald Bluetooth's son Svein Forkbeard to keep Norway under the Christian yoke of Denmark. Harald Bluetooth had been beaten by otto II so the Pagan Haakon took advantage of the weakened position of the Danish king to make Norway independent of Denmark. Haakon Sigurdsson was a strong believer in the old Norse Gods his boat in the painting has the Black Pagan Ram sail. When Harald Bluetooth attempted to force Christianity  upon him around 975, Haakon broke his allegiance to Denmark. The invading Jomsvikings were led by Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson and Vagn Akason their ships can be seen in the painting with the brightly coloured sails and were bigger high sided ships than Haakon's black sailed pagan ships.


    "Many a viking's body lay


     Dead on the deck this bloody day,


     Before they cut their sun-dried ropes,


     And in quick flight put all their hopes.


     He whom the ravens know afar


     Cleared five-and-twenty ships of war:


     A proof that in the furious fight


     None can withstand the Norsemen's might."


Not even the fabled feared JomsVikings could defeat the old Pagan Viking fury of Norway they were greatly outnumbered 150 ships to their 60!!! See in the painting the mass of pagan black sailed ships appearing out of the mist!!!! The Jomsvikings were misled to the numbers of Haakons ships as local Norwegian country folk had told them Haakon was in the Hjorundarfjord with 2 ships not his massive 150 ships. The Jomsviking Bue and Sigvaldi lept at the chance to attack Haakon with what they thought was such a small fleet!!!

 gr 2



 The Jomsvikings were a brotherhood of elite blue-toothed mercenaries who were greatly feared. The Jomsviking Vagn Akason is a fascinating character. Vagn Åkesson was  mentioned in the Jomsvikinga Saga. At the age of 12, Vagn, a precocious warrior, applied for admission to the  Jomsviking brotherhood. According to the Jómsvíkinga saga, Vagn was the son of Aki, a son of the Jomsviking chieftain Palnatoke. Intrigued by the courage displayed by Vagn, his grandfather Palnatoke allowed him to prove his worth with a duel against Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson, whom Vagn defeated. He was admitted to the order despite the Jomsviking rule that no man under the age of 18 be allowed to join.

gr 3


Palnatoke adopted Vagn, who is described as one of the most fearless of the Jomsvikings, as a sort of protégé. Vagn's courage stand in sharp contrast to the pragmatism (some would say cowardice) displayed by Sigvaldi. After Palnatoke's death, Sigvaldi became leader of the order. At the Battle of Hjörungavágr, Sigvaldi ordered a retreat, an order which Vagn angrily refused to obey. In the painting you can see Vagn  throwing his spear at Sigvaldi's retreating ship, but missed and hit the Helmsman. Vagn managed to survive the battle with honour and was spared by Eiríkr Hákonarson, while Sigvaldi became the object of ridicule.

gr 4

 Legendary Jomsviking Havard Hoggende still fighting with his bow, his legs cut off below the knees!!!

In the painting several Viking ships have shields along their sides. It is theorised that these would be designed for distant fighting, shooting arrows behind the shields into opposing ships. Other ships have taken away their shields – again theorising that Vikings in these ships would take on the hazardous task of jumping on board enemy ships to engage in almost impossible combat with the entire crew of those ships. Coming alongside an enemy ship must have wrought havoc among the oarsmen whose oars would have smashed against their opponents’ hulls. This has been portrayed in the painting, probably for the first time ever in the field of Maritime art!!!! Indeed, this particular sea battle has never been depicted by any artist until today. Goodman has taken on the almost impossible task of portraying open decked Viking ships engaged in mortal combat. Other sea battles have shown wooden ships covered in sails, cannon smoke, ladders, ratlines, etc. This meant the artist did not need to portray sailors in dynamic action, hiding them behind convenient sails, or cannons, and smoke!!! Viking ships have no such obstructions so Goodman has faced the titanic task of portraying each individual Viking in full dynamic action! As can be seen from the painting he did not flinch from the task!! The true genius of Leon Goodman is that he can explore the psychological reaction of so many characters with equal conviction!!!!

 gr 5

Vigfus can be seen ramming an anvil into the head of the Jomsviking Aslak Holmskalle!!

Based on historical records, several vignettes of the battle are portrayed. On the far right Vagn Akason can be seen throwing a spear at the fleeing Earl Sigvaldes. On the same ship a Pagan that has boarded the ship called Vigfus can be seen ramming an anvil into the head of the Jomsviking Aslak Holmskalle!! Aslak Holmskalle was enormous and thought to be indestructible!!! Aslak is Bue’s foster brother. On the right is the archetype of all Vikings, a golden-haied warrior despatching another Viking with a battle-axe, most favoured weapon of many Jomsvikings!!

gr 6

 Many of the Vikings at this legendary battle wore Gold Chainmail

On one of the central boared ships the Jomsviking Bue can be seen jumping of the ships with two huge chests of Gold that divers still search for today!! Bue knew they would receive no quarter from the Pagan Vikings!!!

gr 7

 Jomsviking Bue can be seen jumping of the ships with two huge chests of Gold that divers still search for today!!



On the ship to the far left of the painting, withstanding terrible agony, can be seen the legendary Jomsviking Havard Hoggende. He can be seen still fighting with his bow, his legs cut off below the knees. Later, after the battle, he would kill the Pagan Gissur from Valders, only to suffer death himself and be one of many to enter Valhalla that day!!! This portrayal of Havard in the battle is central to Viking folklore as it was believed some Vikings could in fact fight on with terrible injuries like both lower legs removed. Incredible!!!!

gr 8


The painting illustrates the powerful storm that raged during the battle. Just like the battle of Towton moor in England that was fought in a snow storm where 30,000 men died in one day (during the war of the Roses) here the Vikings fought with huge waves and hailstones hitting the decks. Haakon was furious at the end of the battle that some Jomsvikings were spared as he son Svein was killed in the battle and he believed Thor sent the storm in anger at Svein’s death!!!! Goosepimple stuff!!

gr 9

 Haakon's Black sailed Pagan ship with Ram's head!!



  gr 10



 gr 11

 Vagn  throwing his spear at Sigvaldi's retreating ship, but missed and hit the Helmsman.


 King Svein made a magnificent feast, to which he invited all the chiefs in his dominions; for he would give the succession-feast, or the heirship-ale, after his father Harald. A short time before, Strutharald in Skane, and Vesete in Bornholm, father to Bue the Thick and to Sigurd, had died; and King Svein sent word to the Jomsborg vikings that Earl Sigvalde and Bue, and their brothers, should come to him, and drink the funeral-ale for their fathers in the same feast the king was giving. The Jomsborg vikings came to the festival with their bravest men, forty ships of them from Vindland, and twenty ships from Skane. Great was the multitude of people assembled. The first day of the feast, before King Svein went up into his father's high-seat, he drank the bowl to his father's memory, and made the solemn vow, that before three winters were past he would go over with his army to England, and either kill King Adalrad (Ethelred), or chase him out of the  country. This heirship bowl all who were at the feast drank. Thereafter for the chiefs of the Jomsborg vikings was filled and drunk the largest horn to be found, and of the strongest drink. When that bowl was emptied, all men drank Christ's health; and again the fullest measure and the strongest drink were handed to the Jomsborg vikings. The third bowl was to the memory of Saint Michael, which was drunk by all. Thereafter Earl Sigvalde emptied a remembrance bowl to his father's honour, and made the solemn vow, that before three winters came to an end he would go to Norway, and either kill Earl Hakon, or chase him out of the country. Thereupon Thorkel the Tall, his brother, made a solemn vow to follow his brother Sigvalde to Norway, and not flinch from the battle so long as Sigvalde would fight there. Then Bue the Thick vowed to follow them to Norway, and not flinch so long as the other Jomsborg vikings fought. At last Vagn Akason vowed that he would go with them to Norway, and not return until he had slain Thorkel Leira, and gone to bed to his daughter Ingebjorg without her friends' consent. Many other chiefs made solemn vows about different things. Thus was the heirship-ale drunk that day, but the next morning, when the Jomsborg vikings had slept off their drink, they thought they had spoken more than enough. They held a meeting to consult how they should proceed with their undertaking, and they determined to fit out as speedily as possible for the expedition; and without delay ships and men-at-arms were prepared, and the news spread quickly.


 When Earl Eirik, the son of Hakon, who at that time was in Raumarike, heard the tidings, he immediately gathered troops, and went to the Uplands, and thence over the mountains to Throndhjem, and joined his father Earl Hakon. Thord Kolbeinson speaks of this in the lay of Eirik:  "News from the south are flying round; The bonde comes with look profound, Bad news of bloody battles bringing, Of steel-clad men, of weapons ringing. I hear that in the Danish land Long-sided ships slide down the strand, And, floating with the rising tide, The ocean-coursers soon will ride."
  The earls Hakon and Eirik had war-arrows split up and sent round the Throndhjem country; and despatched messages to both the Mores, North More and South More, and to Raumsdal, and also north to Naumudal and Halogaland. They summoned all the country to provide both men and ships. So it is said in Eirik's lay:"The skald must now a war-song raise, The gallant active youth must praise, Who o'er the ocean's field spreads forth Ships, cutters, boats, from the far north. His mighty fleet comes sailing by,? The people run to see them glide, Mast after mast, by the coast-side."
  Earl Hakon set out immediately to the south, to More, to reconnoitre and gather people; and Earl Eirik gathered an army from the north to follow.




Measurements height  3 foot  x  4 foot.   (91 cms x 122 cms)  Very Large Oil on Canvas. .




 " An Amazing Blue Chip Investment Opportunity to Acquire an Original Leon Goodman Painting" ..

Invest in one of our paintings, rather than risky bank investments, where you can actually touch your investment. Take pleasure in looking at it and watch it appreciate in value over the years!! Remember we guarantee every painting sold is unique, original e.g only one of it's kind in the world!!!

 Scarcity alone guarantees the investment  !!!!

Asgard Arts offers works of art which will not only look fantastic in your home or offices (One Investment Bank in particular has purchased paintings from us for their offices see Bull paintings) but will also be a sound financial investment for the future.  Art has long been regarded as a strong and safe investment.  Investment in paintings was discussed recently on Bloomberg television as a sound investment as a hard asset like Gold, Platinum Silver etc. Also Ellen Kelleher a personal finance journalist for The Financial Times recently wrote an article recommending the purchase of Art, particularly in the $500 - $50,000 range as a sound long term investment with an impressive current average annual increase of 9.7 percent.  Go to Latest Art news on Asgard Arts and seeHang your investments on the wall by Ellen Kelleher Published October 22 2010 in the Financial Times.












 Leon Goodman has been a professional artist for the majority of his working life. His work has been sold at The Omell Gallery, Ascot, as well as Christies, the fine art auction house in London. Many of his works have sold for thousands of pounds to the U.S.A. Since seeing his work, Risborough Art Gallery have made him a regularly featured artist. Leon’s philosophy is that it is not the delineation of the subject which is important, but its fragmentation. He believes a strictly photographic image does not allow the viewer to participate in the painting. If the image is fragmented, the viewer can imagine for himself the missing parts and involve himself in the creation of the whole image. The viewer has seen his own interpretation of the fragmented images; the next viewer may see something different.


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