Highlights

Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857), Winter Landscape. Near Vordingborg, 1827

Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857), Winter Landscape. Near Vordingborg, 1827. 173x205,5 cm. kms167
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During his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, J.C. Dahl specialised in landscape painting. When settling in Dresden in Germany in 1818, he effectively settled in the capital of German Romanticism where landscapes held absolute sway.

Atmospehere as the pivotal feature

”Atmosphere” was the pivotal feature of Romantic landscapes. This emphasis on mood within the visual arts was a parallel to the “intimations” of Romantic poetry, representing a semi-religious view of nature. The somewhat oppressive atmosphere with its undertones of death – nature is shown in its icy winter garb – is symbolically anchored in the stump left by the tree felled in the foreground, the naked, lifeless branches of the two large trees, and the grave behind them.

Another Romantic note
At the same time, the barrow strikes another Romantic note: The sense of days long past and the vast continuity of time. The grand landscape with its dramatic play of colour gives a spatial dimension to this time theme, intimating a deeper reality. Unlike the radically Romantic works also appearing at the time, Dahl softens his landscape, introducing elements of genre painting by imbuing it with anecdotal materials: In the background a wisp of smoke rises from a cabin, perhaps the home of the hunter on the snow-covered field.


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Updated: 8.apr.2014
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