”In my fireplace I burn coals which, because of their round and regular shape, are called “monks’ heads.” One day when the fire is nearly extinguished I take out a mass of coal of fantastic shape. It resembles a cock’s head with a splendid comb joined to what looks like a human trunk with twisted limbs. It might have been a demon from some mediaeval witches’ Sabbath.
The second day I take out again a fine group of two gnomes or drunken dwarfs, who embrace each other while their clothes flutter in the wind. It is a masterpiece of primitive culture.
The third day it is a Madonna and Child in the Byzantine style, of incomparable beauty of outline. After I have drawn copies of all three in black chalk, I place them on my table. A friendly painter visits me; he regards the three statuettes with growing curiosity, and asks who has” made” them. In order to try him, I mention the name of a Norwegian sculptor. ” No,” he says,” I should rather be inclined to ascribe them to Kittelsen the famous illustrator of the Swedish legends.”