Sadly, the stunning exhibition of paintings by Peder Balke at London’s National Gallery will be coming to an end on 12 April, in only a month’s time – do try to catch it while you still can, because it may be a long time before so many of his works are assembled again in one place.
Balke was a Norwegian painter who lived from 1804 to 1887. He painted the Norwegian landscape in a very dramatic and romantic manner, and his work deserves to be more widely known because it has a quite extraordinary power and impact on the viewer – especially his larger canvases.
Balke travelled extensively in Norway at a time when travel was still difficult – mainly by sailing vessel. He journeyed up the Norwegian coast into the Arctic Circle as far as North Cape – a haunting icy landscape which evidently stayed with him long afterwards as he painted variations of the scene on so many occasions.
I went to the National Gallery with my daughter last month and we were both entranced by the exhibition. One peculiarity which took us some time to tumble to is that many of the most dramatic landscape, specially of North Cape, appear to have been depicted by moonlight. In fact, of course, they are shown by the eerie night time sun of the Arctic.
Further information from the National Gallery here