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Frits Thaulow

Winter, Vestre Aker

Winter, Vestre Aker

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About the original:

His summer landscapes are lush green, his rivers with a reflective surface flow quietly and his snow motifs sparkle with color in the ski tracks. The Thaulow family bought a property at Frøen in Vestre Aker in 1866, and from the 1870s this area was frequently used as a motif by Frits Thaulow. Equipped with his warm wolfskin coat and his easily portable painting equipment, Thaulow stood outside in the winter and painted. The motif in Winter, Vestre Aker is taken precisely from his family's immediate environment, and we see how he depicts ski games and traces of former skiing fun on the clear, chilly winter day.

Thaulow's winter motifs not only aroused excitement in Kristiania, but also abroad. During the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889, another winter motif, Skiers, 1886, was purchased by the French state. Today this picture is in the collections of the Musée d'Orsay. Skiers have an almost identical motif to the one we find in Winter, Vestre Aker, and the National Museum's image is most likely a somewhat later replica.

Text: Ellen J. Lerberg

Date: (1887)

Other titles: Winter in Vestre Aker (ENG)

Designation: Painting

Material and technique: Oil on canvas

Technique: Oil

Material: Canvas

Dimensions: 60 x 97.2 cm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Motif: Landscape

Acquisition: Purchased 1916

Inventory no.: NG.M.01137

Part of exhibition: Winterland, 1993

Winterland, 1993 - 1994

Registration level: Single object

Owner and collection: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Visual Art Collections

Photo: Børre Høstland/Høstland, Børre/Lathion, Jacques

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Frits Thaulow

Frits Thaulow was a Norwegian landscape painter and a leading figure in naturalistic painting in the 1880s. He became a renowned painter in Europe from 1889 and settled in France in 1892. Thaulow's sensitivity to color and poetry made his naturalism meaningful to colleagues, critics and audiences for two generations. Thaulow was born in Christiania and grew up in a liberal home with a wealthy apothecary father. He had a talent for friendship and a capacity for initiative.

He fulfilled his father's wish to study pharmacy before breaking through as a painter around 1880. Thaulow was tutored by CF Sørensen, the foremost Danish master of marine painting, and Hans F. Gude, the most important Norwegian marine painter, before spending three winters in Paris and familiarized himself with recent trends in French art. He became enthusiastic about Jules Bastien-Lepage, who was admired at the time as the leader of the young "realists". In the early 1880s, Thaulow's art was linked to the city itself and its surroundings, but with detours to Kragerø, Paris, Copenhagen, Scotland and Venice until 1885.

From 1885, winter entered his pictures. Thaulow's efforts in the 1880s were of fundamental importance for the entire Norwegian "naturalist" school of painting. He gave it a refined touch of intimacy and color beauty that inspired, and he had an open eye for talent around him. Thaulow did not want to advocate art doctrines and never claimed that "everything can be painted, as long as it is well painted" or the like. He never became an impressionist, although he experimented with the direction during a stay in Paris in 1882-1883. Thaulow moved to France in 1892, but was often at home on painting stays. He died in 1906.