After a period of national romanticism that had celebrated the nature and culture of Norway’s mountainous regions, poets and painters turned their attention to landscapes and ways of life along the country’s southern coast. In the late 19th century, coastal scenes became highly popular. This exhibition explores how realistic maritime painting was established in Norwegian art. Hans Gude and his Norwegian students at the art academy in Karlsruhe played a major role in this development. The maritime paintings of this period reflect Norway becoming one of the world’s great maritime nations, with activity focused on its southern and eastern seaboard.
Gude’s choice of subject matter had an impact on a number of his students in Karlsruhe, most notably the painters Amaldus Nielsen, Kitty Kielland, Nikolai Ulfsten, Frits Thaulow and Christian Krohg. Under Gude’s guidance, they acquired essential skills and artistic tastes that favoured the ideals of painting in open air and the meticulous study of nature. Following their teacher’s advice, many of his students undertook field trips to the beaches of southern Norway, discovering new material in their native tracts.
The exhibition (19.02.2016 - 08.05.2016) is organised thematically, with an emphasis on locations, themes and trends. Of central interest is Gude’s renewal of the maritime painting and his influence on many of his students, who later became familiar names in the history of Norwegian art. (Text: Nasjonalmuseet Oslo)