Harald  Sohlberg


Painting Norway: Infinite Landscapes

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

1 June 2019

Winter Night in the Mountains, 1914

Featuring more than 90 works, all his paintings has a beautiful view with trees that look almost fantastical, then few glinting cottages with just the play of depth in light at dawn inside and outside in the nature. It made me feel safe and as part of the painting somehow, even though the expanse of nature can be quite terrifying. These are those kind of painting that has made me realize to explore oil paintings in future.

What is interesting to me is, I can relate to his use of colourful colours and  luminous landscapes, often devoid of living human presence because I always felt while making and art work human mind and body is completely involved in work therefore till now, I have never felt a necessity to involve human presence in my work. There is something very contemporary sense in Sohlberg’s work and are so aesthetically pleasing to eyes. His works has travelled through Norway and captured the nature and the mountains in very unusual way as a source of physical and spiritual renewal,  which I had never seen before. In most of his landscapes painting he had adopted the symbolist elements like the road, the sea , the tress but combined them with elements of modernity such as with telegraph poles with cables, exaggerating the height of the poles and bring them further into the foreground, drawing the eye towards the sky.

Drawn painting & Stylization


His paintings suggest a high level of structural drawing and perspective skills. This practice is put into action in works like row of houses in Street in Roros and in the unique perspective of the house wall and veranda in Summer Night having more than one vanishing point in a close proximity. Also it is unique to me that the painting have involved use of thin layers of transparent paint to underlays of pale often revealing pencilwork underneath paint.


However all his paintings are directly dependent on his subject matter to glean new ideas from nature, while I could see the leaves visible in the paintings are stylised as they are virtually just silhouettes and not yet too green.

It is also been observed that the paintings are hung in a certain sequence and order.

The Country Road, 1905

Street in Røros in Winter, 1903

Fisherman's Cottage, 1906

Summer Night , 1899