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High in the mountains, Hans Dahl - Description of the Painting



High in the mountains - Hans Dahl. Canvas, oil. 100.4 x 71.1 cm


This canvas was created by the talented son of the famous Norwegian master Hans Dahl, Hans Andreas. One would consider the creative techniques and plots of the paintings written by father and son to be similar, but it should be noted that the style of the latter is more impressionistic, and that he has a special gift for conveying space exceptionally deeply.

The present work can serve as a perfect example of the artist's ability to convey air and space, as well as perspective. On it, a young girl wearing national clothes, is depicted, sitting half-turned to the viewers, so that her face cannot be seen, and remaining an abstract collective image of all plain Norwegian women.

The girl made herself comfortable on a rocky ledge against the background of lush flowering alpine plants. She leans on a large wooden rake, and this makes the viewers understand that the purpose of her coming here was not admiring the beauties, but working, i.e., raking the grass mowed by men. She tiredly sat down to have a moment of rest, and so she froze forever, looking intently at the world that lies at her feet.

The rocks and grasses in the foreground of the painting contrast in color, warmth and imaging technique with the huge mountain ranges located in its background. They seem to be drowning in a light fog, or, rather, in a damp haze, which smoothens the brightness of the colors used, muffling them with the thin lilac veil.

The panorama of the mountains is truly impressive and incredible. It includes high-mountain meadows, which green through the haze, bare grizzled rocks, silver brooks and mountain rivers running along steep slopes. This canvas can be looked at for a very long time, and each time the new, previously unnoticed details, will be revealed.

The accurately detailed front edge of this canvas combined with blurry foggy background fills the painting with air, making it very natural, just like a window into a fairy-tale world.

In the foreground of the canvas, one can observe literally every single blade of grass and unpretentious flower. The artist succeeded in harmonizing the diversity of tones in a way making an integral impression. The same goes for rocks. Looking from a distance, we see clear silhouettes of old weathered stones; but closer, all these turn into brushstrokes masterfully arranged in different directions, possibly, made even with a palette knife.

This painting is undoubtedly a very talented work of a highly gifted artist. We can only regret that he left this world too early. But his wonderful works became a great monument to him.
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