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The Glacier, Jostedalsbreen
  • Artist Peder Balke (Norwegian, 1804 - 1887)
  • TitleThe Glacier, Jostedalsbreen
  • Dating 1840-tal
  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions127 x 173 cm
  • AcquisitionGift of Knut J:son Mark, 1928
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 0854
  • Display StatusOn display in Romanticism (Room 13)
Description
Bibliography
In Balke’s magnificent mountainscape The Glacier, Jostedalsbreen from the 1840s, we see three rowing boats floating on the calm water below a mighty glacier. The looming cliffs are reflected in the water. Beyond them rises a mighty mountain range as a backdrop. The glacier’s vertical walls of ice contrast with the brown rock walls. The people and their boats seem small and fragile compared to the magnificent landscape. In Dahl’s more naturalistic depiction of the same scene from 1844, Nature appears less intimidating. It becomes clear just how much Balke had exaggerated the proportions to create a sublime effect. This is landscape as theatre; more an idea projected through the landscape than a credible study of Nature.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014