Fredriksberg Fortifications on Nordnes in Bergen, 1834
Johan Christian Dahl
Oil on paper laid on canvas, 26.5 x 29 cm
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design - The National Gallery, Oslo. NG.M.00426-038
In the summer of 1834, Dahl undertook his second tour in Norway, and painted several studies of coastal scenes in the course of it. This study of his native Bergen looking towards Nordnes is dated 26 August. It was painted on paper, as were most of his studies, and was later pasted on to a canvas. Inscribed on the back of the stretcher by the artist's son, Siegwald Dahl, is "Parthie bei Bergen. Naturstudie" [View near Bergen. Study from nature]. Since the spot where Dahl positioned himself with his paintbox has been identified, a pretentious title has been attached to this beautiful, colourful summer study. Yet the fortifications on the promontory in the background are of secondary importance. Dahl is on the shore; the tide is out. What caught the artist's eye was not the fortress but the contrast between the brown seaweed at the water's edge and the bright reflection of the summer sky on the surface of the calm sea.