Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe

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Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe

Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg’s (1869-1935) paintings were exhibited for a broad European audience in London earlier this year. This month, one of his paintings, Ripe fields, is expected to be sold for more than one million pounds at Sotheby’s.

The exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, “Harald Sohlberg. Painting Norway” marked the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth. Sohlberg created works that evoke the wild nature of the Nordic landscape, from the harsh beauty of its winters to the softness of its flowers.

Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe
Harald Sohlberg portrait

Harald Sohlberg is one of Norway’s most famous landscape painters. He studied drawing in Kristiania (now Oslo) and traveled to Copenhagen in 1892 to study at Kristian Zahrtmanns School of Painting. The painter focused in general on parts of Norway that had attracted little interest among other artists, like Røros and Rondane. Despite their apparent realism, his paintings stand aloof from time and geographic location.

Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe
Harald Sohlberg, Winter Nights in the Mountains, 1914

Like Edvard Munch, Sohlberg disassociated himself from discussion about where he belonged in the history of art by strongly denying the influence of other contemporary artists. He rather relegated the origins of his artistic awakening to his own psyche and created his own intense stories based on mythologies of the Norwegian land. Consequently, the Norwegian painter created his own exceptional universe.

Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe
Harald Sohlberg, From Røros

Harald Sohlberg is considered one of the leading exponents of neo romanticism in Norway, which broadly speaking covers the period from about 1890 to 1905. His paintings are mysterious and though provoking with rich colors that appeal to our intuitions and emotions. The artist explores hidden connections between the outer perceptible world and the inner essence of the human condition, revealing its relevance beyond Norway’s borders.

Many important works of Harald Sohlberg is now on exhibition at Trondheim Kunstmuseum. The exhibition lasts until 9 February 2020.

Feature image (on top): Harald Sohlberg, From a Home, 1919

Norwegian Painter’s Exceptional Universe, written by Tor Kjolberg

 

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