The art critic Tommaso Paloscia, during the past few decades considered the absolute authority in Florence and Tuscany, is also known for his books on art history and his conferences in Europe. In 1997 he writes of Hagtvedt:

Born in Norway, but citizen of the world - a painter whose formation would not have been possible without extensive travels - driven by an insane will to learn from all countries, "reading" not only museums and monuments but also the behavior of people, the traditions, the customs, the fashions: Henrik Hagtvedt, 26 years old, carries within himself a particularly solid cultural fundament. His artistic ballast consists not only of scholastic experience and the formative impulses of philosophy and psychology, but also of specialized learning pertaining to geographically specified areas. Here, in fact, we see specialized artistic technique stemming from such diverse areas as Oslo and Amsterdam, London and Florence. The Florentine influence consists partially of human anatomy and the abstract studies with Giulietti at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Hagtvedt is a born painter of temperament, displaying the heritage which many of his kinsmen must be gratified to have in memory and spirit: the heritage of the great Munch. Such expressionism is the language through which Hagtvedt exposes his images. He does so naturally, as if he was speaking his native tongue. And as his esteemed compatriot at the end of the 19th century, he acquires, through the cultural span offered by his hosting countries, a sensibility to colour which transforms the images come about as almost monochromatic manifestations. Maybe this evolution of the palette initially attenuated the expressive intensity, but having accepted this change as a grammatical enrichment, the eloquence flows with the liberty of communication which Hagtvedt has exhibited possession of and which naturally stimulates his personality to reveal itself ever more fully.

The arrival and stay in Italy, first of all Florence, have in my opinion played a particularly interesting role in this artistic journey of the nomadic painter. It is as if the mad coordinates are again functioning to locate the site, the space in which gather the values that Hagtvedt seeks. In search of himself he feels an extreme need of these values; one could say it is his own identity as a painter and a poet. Therefore, dramatic expression has reappeared in Hagtvedt's imagery, yet not entrusted solely to facial gestures that remind coldly and externally of the Scream; but to the situations, the environment, the psychological reading of the subjects. Through this we see the maturity of this painter, who today analyses more profoundly that which he offers. And he does so with greater consciousness of his acquired values.

It is probable that Hagtvedt, urged by the demon that blesses his nomadic way, will set out again on the search for new sensations. From these he will undoubtedly extract ulterior cultural enrichments. One would think, however, that the Florentine impulses are destined to leave substantial traces in his art and in his continued exchange with other countries and cultures, with the diverse rituals that accompany new understanding.