Peder BalkePeder Balke was a Norwegian painter who was born in 1804. He began his career as a village painter, but later he studied at the Royal School of Design in Christiania and also studied at the Academy in Stockholm under Carl Johan Fahlcrantz in 1829-1833.
In 1832 he traveled to Nordland and Finnmark, and the impressions he got there became an important inspiration for his later art. Balke created visionary nature scenes with a strong dramatic nerve and a limited color scale which were executed with a technical virtuosity and decorative character. He experienced a painterly peak in the 1860s.
Balke also stayed in Dresden in 1836 and in 1843-1844 with JC Dahl. He also visited St. Petersburg in 1841 and was in Paris in 1846-1847, where he received an order for 30 northern Norwegian motifs from King Ludvig Philip for Versailles. However, the February Revolution in 1848 made it impossible for Balke to complete the order.
After a visit to London, Balke settled in Christiania in 1850 and began working in social work. He was also an active promoter of getting the Storting to grant artists' grants as early as 1842, and in 1851 he proposed a pension scheme for all salaried workers and civil servants over the age of 55 at the workers' meeting (Lilletinget). Unfortunately, his proposal was dropped in both 1851 and 1869.
Balke also worked hard to develop the area around Industrigata in Christiania, Balkeby. The artist is represented by 14 pictures at the National Museum/National Gallery, four at Trøndelag Art Gallery and several at Bergen Art Museum and Oslo City Museum. He also has wall pictures from Thor Olsen's farm at Dronningens gate 16 in Oslo. In addition, Balke is part of the Scandinavian collection in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.