Thorvald Erichsen (1868-1939) was a Norwegian visual artist and painter who is considered one of the most significant figures in the renewal of Norwegian modern painting at the turn of the 20th century. He developed his own color poetry and painting style, and is known as one of Norway's greatest colourists.
Erichsen came from a middle-class home and took an early interest in mountains and outdoor life. He began law studies in Kristiania in 1886, but eventually decided to follow an artistic career. He became a pupil at the Royal Drawing School and Knud Bergslien's painting school, and later formed ties with the Lysaker circle.
Erichsen sought impulses outside Norway and stayed in Copenhagen as a student at Kristian Zahrtmann's painting school. Here he met inspiring artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, and gradually developed a freer and brighter color palette.
The breakthrough for Erichsen came with the painting "Fra Kviteseid i Telemark" in 1900, which is considered a final break with 19th-century naturalism in Norwegian art. Erichsen's works are characterized by landscape depictions, figure compositions and intimate sections of interiors with flowers and open windows. He became almost exclusively preoccupied with landscape painting in the 20th century, where the subjects dissolve and become subject to the reflections and refractions of light.
Erichsen spent many years at the Breiseth hotel in Lillehammer, where he painted the same subject for different days and seasons. The vision was that the image should light up by itself, rather than being an illuminated subject. Thorvald Erichsen is considered one of Norway's most prominent artists, and his artwork is still highly valued and admired.
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