Donar: A Portrait of Thor

Thor as the German Donar

Thor as the German Donar by Sam Flegal

I’ve been doing a lot of detailed multi-figure compositions in my work of late. In my Norse Mythology series I’ve been wanting to do a Thor painting, but the more I worked on it the less it felt “right.” So I decided to do a simpler portrait painting of Thor to help wrap my mind around the Thunder God, and to treat it as good practice for painting a face.

Now for me, Thor is a difficult god to wrap my head around. I’ve always been more of an Odinsman. However, as I researched Thor I came across an older image of the god from earlier Germanic Legends. Back then Donar was the King of the Gods, and he ruled the heavens as indicated by a crown of stars that encircled his head. He did not have a hammer, but instead threw stones from the sky, and his chariot was pulled across the sky by two goats; but in the German version his cart was filled with copper kettles in order to explain all the racket a storm caused.

The idea of King Thor really seemed right to me. In particular the idea of his “Crown of Stars” conjured a nice image to my mind. So I latched onto that and worked up my portrait.

If you’re interested in reading more about Thor or any of the other Northern Gods, I recommend the Norse Mythology Blog by Dr. Karl E. H. Seigfried. It’s a great starting point and he recommends lots of other books to get into.

I plan to do another Thor piece in the future, but until that time I hope you enjoy my portrait of Donar! The original measures 11″ x 14″ and was painted with Oil Paints.

To see more of my work or to contact me for availability to help with your project please visit:


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