Midsummer Night

Harald Sohlberg: A Norwegian Landscape Painter

12 Jul 19 — 27 Oct 19

Harald Sohlberg, Summer Night, 1899, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo

In close cooperation with the Oslo National Museum, Museum Wiesbaden presents the first retrospective on the European continent of the Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg (1869–1935) in honor of the artist’s 150th birthday. Sohlberg, who was a contemporary and friend of Edvard Munch (1863–1944), is best known for his major work Winter Night in Rondane, produced over the course of 15 years, between 1899 and 1914. The painting still captures the soul of the Norwegians today and was voted the most popular painting in the country by citizens in the 1990s. To present – in Wiesbaden – this icon of Norwegian art, which has never been on loan since it was acquired in 1918 by the National Museum in Oslo, is extraordinary.

Harald Sohlberg’s close connection to German painting can be seen with a glance at his curriculum vitae: Sohlberg began to paint in Kristiania ⁄ Oslo (1885) before going on to gain international experience in Copenhagen (1891), Paris (1895), Weimar (1896 ⁄ 97) and other locations. In the footsteps of his compatriot Johann Christian Clausen Dahl (1788–1857), who lived in Dresden for more than 30 years, Sohlberg also became acquainted with the work of the great German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Sohlberg’s work, artistically positioned between tradition and modernity, combines Romanticism, Symbolism and Art Nouveau. Yet, his deserted landscapes suggest that he was a protagonist of the progressive New Objectivity.

This exhibition, sponsored by Hesse State Premier Volker Bouffier, comprises 80 works (60 of which are paintings), offering a representative depiction of Sohlberg's development from his earliest works at the age of 20 to the final year of his life.


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