The United States declared its independence from England in 1776. Norway declared its independence from Denmark in 1814. In the 1820s, artistic institutions in these up-and-coming countries were beginning to develop and artists were trying to figure out what “national landscape” meant.
In the United States, the Hudson River School came into being to answer that question. In Norway, a smaller school, led by Johan Christian Dahl, answered the question.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford is known as the world epicenter of Hudson River School collection and scholarship but has never before now shown an exhibit of work by the contemporaneous Norway School of Landscape Art. “Sublime North: Romantic Painters Discover Norway” is on view until mid-January.
Oliver Tostmann, the Atheneum’s curator of European art, says art came to Norway in a roundabout and nomadic way.
“There was no such thing as a formalized school or art academy