(Hedemarken, Norway 1804 - 1887 Oslo)
The Trolltindene Range, Norway, c.1845
Oil on panel, 31 x 42.2 cm
Signed lower right Balke
Bearing a stamp on the verso DEP 662 (inventory stamp Copenhagen, Statens Museum for Kunst)
Dr. Hans Chr. Paulsen, 1954;
Hammerlunds Kunsthandel, Oslo (gallery label bears the handwritten name ‘Paulsen’);
Asbjørn Lunde (1927-2017), New York, from 2004, inv. 506.
Peder Balke. 1804-1887, Oslo, Kunstnernes Hus, 1954, no. 131A;
Et dramatisk møte - Ørnulf Opdahl og Peder Balke, Modum, Blaafarvevaerket,
2006, no. 59;
Den ville natur. Sveitisk og norsk romantikk. Malerier fra Asbjorn Lundes samling, Tromsø, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum and Bergen, Billedgalleri, 2007-8, p. 128, no. 43;
Forests, Rocks, Torrents: Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection, London, National Gallery, 2011;
Måneskinnsmaleren - Moonlight romantic: Knud Baade (1808-1879), Tromsø, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, 2012, no. 54, repr. p. 77;
Peder Balke: Visjon og revolusjon, Tromsø, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, 2014, no. 14;
Paintings by Peder Balke, London, National Gallery, 2014-15, no. 6, repr. p. 70;
Rocks & Rivers: Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Lunde Collection, Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, April 2015-January 2017;
Peder Balke: Painter of Northern Light, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, April-July 2017 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/690286, accessed January 28, 2019);
Sublime North: Romantic Painters Discover Norway. Paintings from the Collection of Asbjørn Lunde, Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, September 2017-January 2018.
Per Kirkeby, Peder Balke. Trick, Depth and Game, Hellerup 1996, p. 70, repr. p. 71;
Knut Ljogodt, ‘«Travel, travel they must»: Peder Balke and the Romantic Discovery of Norway,’ in Claudia Denk and Andreas Strobl (eds.), Landschaftsmalerei, eine Reisekunst?, Berlin and Munich 2017, p. 236, fig. 4, p. 237, p. 347, plate XXXVII.
This painting belongs to a group of seascapes executed in 1845. The mountains in the background strongly recall the Trolltindene mountain range. In the early 1840s, Peder Balke began to favor a monochrome palette reminiscent of Dutch grisailles of the seventeenth century. Here, the tonal range is limited to blue, gray and brown. The crests of the waves are executed in white impasto, accentuating the play of the breakers, while the massive form of the mountain range rises almost surrealistically from the mist. Building on Dutch seventeenth-century marine painting and the aesthetic ideas of the Dresden Romantics, particularly his teacher, Johan Christian Dahl, and C. D. Friedrich, whose work he greatly admired, Balke went on to develop his own visions of Nordic landscape. The motif of a ship battling against the violence of a storm-driven sea acquires a metaphorical dimension, as in the paintings of Friedrich – it becomes a symbol for the precariousness of the human condition.