With romanticism and nationalsim european artists (and art buyers) turned their interest from a classical (means roman or greek) past to something, what they thought may have been their own history.
Looking for something, what could be considered an own "national"cult, they discovered the viking funeral. Although it was not really common in the older days, it was very popular in the 19th century.
Here two examples. The first is by the scottish painter Robert Gibb (1845-1932).
It may be the naive version of the story. Its idyllic and the people are mourning peaceully.
Totally different is the painting by the polish/russian painterHenryk Hector Siemiradzki (1843-1902).
He shows the burial of a varangian chief of the Kievan Rus, who was killed collecting tribute.
Its a dark barbaric feast with human sacrifices.
There could be no doubt that the painting was strong influenced by "The Death of Sardanapal"(1827) by Eugène Delacroix.