Elvira Leiten

Il respiro dell’alba

by Ettore Ceruti - art historian 

The refinement and transparent clarity found in Elvira Leiten's works is enhanced by an urgency given by the compositional rhythm that gives the colour a soft and plastically iconic expression, filtered by a deep and sublime sentimentality.

In some of her works, which have been on show with the breath of dawn, the painter seems to have arrived at pure innocence. On the terrain of chromatic virtuosity, few have her mastery, his infallible taste and the gift of making a colour ring in the atonal pause of all the other elements in the painting. Certain blues, yellows and reds have a lyric discovery value that goes beyond a purely technical and compositional calculation. All of her works have an aperture towards the wonderful and fantastic, which relies on an evocative anamnesis.

In alcune delle sue opere, di grande impegno sinfonico, la nordica pittrice sfiora la favola per virtù sorgiva, senza ricorrere a quei valori allusivi, di cui si fa tanto sciupio oggi. Il tutto è suggerito dal colore stesso che si libera con espressività autonoma, sino ad essere spirito. Dall’apparente astrattismo universale, dal quale sembra partire la Leiten, ella arriva ad un suo personalissimo e lievissimo mondo spirituale, rimanendo sempre legata alla fedeltà con se stessa, ai suoi mezzi naturali e acquisiti.

Her particular technique allows her to create surprisingly expressive solutions, which are transferred to the works with a calm and crystalline rhythm that defines, with happy creativity, the narration, and with many surprises in advance for her admirers.

The vitalistic waves that emanate from her paintings cannot easily be found quickly. First of all, it is the register of psychological meanings that skilfully leads us to meet them. Cultured curves and intense registers of chromatic tension suggest to the sensitive and attentive observer, symbolic messages of intimate caresses.

The pictorial knotting and the light that unites and divides, show some irrepressible inflections of rebellion to the pain which depresses and consumes her. We are the classic unit confronted by the problem of modern lighting.

The painter, symbolically and skillfully, also hints at tenuously coloristic structures and disarticulations of angels' bodies, which are refined by means of occult spiritual processes with a maieutic process of good Platonic memory, mostly as the result of inner sedimentation, thus assuming supernatural meanings.

I so much wanted some butterflies go and rest on one of her paintings (in Liguria and in the corner of paradise where the painter lives, there are many of them and some are beautiful). This didn't happen, although I'm certain that any comparison is useless, since the colours of the irises are already all in the mind, heart and paintings of Elvira. Mysterious and holy, however, is this perennial translation, of the arc-en-ciel, by the artist's palette.

Thus the licenses of spirituality, dignity and value are presented by a lovable artist who always knows how to recognise traces of God at every point of the Universe, in every fold of being, in every movement of the spirit, in the beauty of the world, which will remain visible as long as artists capable of suffering and understanding exist.

Loano, 05/03/2003

Gli angeli eterei di Elvira Leiten

di Wolfgang Meixner


Esseri alati

nascono dalla luce bianca

e si manifestano

in un momento magico

tra i colori dei fiori della fantasia

Immagini trasparenti

annunciano la pace

dell’armonia di un altro mondo

nella realtà del sole e dell’ombra

tra tempo e spazio

Aliti volatili

dipinti tra lacrime e sorrisi

si librano da un cuore

pieno di poesia

come estri eterei

Esseri invisibili

creati dall’arte dell’arcobaleno

rappresentano un amore eterno

che è sopra di tutto

e dentro di ognuno di noi

Elvira Leiten


lvira Leiten was born in Volda, Norway in 1945 and is a child of art. Her father's strong personality in expressing his art had created in her such an aversion to everything related to drawing and colours that she could not even hand in her work at a drawing examination. She left Norway and moved to London to study literature, specialising in G.B. Shaw.

A lover of varied cultures, she made numerous trips around the world (she speaks and writes 6 languages) before moving permanently to Italy. She had only just started painting, when a serious illness forced her to stay in bed for a long time. Having lost all hope of being cured, her faith became increasingly shaky. One day, by pure chance, the tempera tubes came into her hands, and not even having the strength to hold a brush between her fingers, she began to paint with her hands. This was the beginning, in forms and colours, of her salvation, her weapon for combatting her ill health.

From then on, painting became not just a passion but her working activity, and what we can now grasp in the unique technique that distinguishes the artist is the explosion of colours that derives from her inner strength, and is carried onto the canvas exclusively by her fingers. Being an abstract artist, we need to grasp and to perceive the stimuli that the artist suggests to us, and to do this, we have to elevate ourselves to a unique and unparalleled dimension: that of our imagination.

Elvira has successfully painted since 1991, has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Norway, Italy, the United States and other countries of Europe. She has been invited to teach "Chromotherapy" at the Holly Learning School in Hartford-Wisconsin, USA. In Stryn-Norway's "House of Culture" two of her works are exhibited. Other works can be found in private and official, international collections.