Tuesday, 20 October 2020

One of Norway's Finest

Today, with my loyal Norwegian readership in mind, I mark the birthday of one of Norway's finest 19th-century painters, Frits Thaulow, born on this day in 1847. I've written about him before, mostly in connection with his Dieppe years, and I never tire of Jaques-Emile Blanche's bravura portrait of him with his statuesque wife and children (above). 
   Although Thaulow was Norway born and bred, he spent much of his painting career elsewhere, first in Denmark – where he worked in Skagen before it became famous for the Skagen Painters – and then in France, where Paris didn't suit him, but various lesser towns did, especially Dieppe. His work can be filed under Impressionism, and his strong suit was landscape, especially landscapes with plenty of water in them.  Or indeed watery townscapes: here is one of his Venice paintings, Under the Rialto Bridge

And here is a typical riverside scene from somewhere near Dieppe –

Thaulow also had a penchant for crepuscular mood pieces, as in this Ambiance du Soir. I wonder where it was painted – any guesses?

And this one carries the title Kveltstemning, Dieppe – which my Norwegian readers will know means Evening Mood, Dieppe. However, I'm pretty sure that is not Dieppe: neither of Dieppe's old churches looks at all like the one looming through the murk here, nor do those gabled houses look right for Dieppe  

Anyway, happy 173rd birthday to a good painter and, by all accounts, an excellent man. 


  1. Isn't that Paris in Ambiance du Soir? What I first thought was a church spire and a strangely modern looking high-rise now seems to me a lot like the Notre Dame.

  2. Yes, I think it very probably is. Thanks Markku.