Johan Christian DahlJohan Christian Clausen Dahl was a Norwegian painter and visual artist born on 24 February 1788 and died on 14 October 1857. He is known as the founder of Norway's national art of painting and was the first great interpreter of Norwegian nature and the foremost Norwegian landscape painter of the 19th century. He was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden from 1824, but while living in Germany, he traveled to Norway five times between 1826 and 1850. Among his famous paintings are "From Stalheim" from 1842 and "Bjerk i storm" from 1849.
He was also a pioneer in Norwegian cultural heritage protection and the initiator of the founding of the Association for the Preservation of Norwegian Historical Monuments. He made people aware of the importance of the stave churches, which were threatened by decay and demolition. He bought Vang stave church at auction in 1840 in order to have it saved and rebuilt in Slottsparken in Christiania, but this could not be done. He later left the church to the Prussian crown prince, the later King Frederick William 4 of Prussia, who had it transported to the Riesengebirge in Silesia and rebuilt in the town of Brückenberg, now Karpacz-Bierutowice in Poland.
Dahl received his first training as a craft and decorative painter with Johan Georg Müller in 1803–1809. From these apprenticeships originates a number of door pieces with city prospectuses, landscapes and figure scenes. He became a student of Christian August Lorentzen at the academy in Copenhagen in 1811. The study trip to Zealand and Møn in 1814 gave him motifs for a number of fresh and well-studied pictures that denote his real breakthrough as a landscape painter. He settled in Dresden in 1818, where he lived for the rest of his life. Dahl was also active in Norwegian cultural life and was eager to establish art associations and supported the newly established university in Christiania.