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River, Frits Thaulow



River - Frits Thaulow. 1883


The art researchers are all aware of the fact that the formation of the creative style and composition preferences of the Norwegian impressionist Frits Thaulow was significantly influenced by his teacher, who was the well-known marine painter Karl Frederik Sørensen.

It should be noted, however, that the teacher taught his student to paint seascapes, while Thaulow rather focused his attention on more modest reservoirs, such as the narrow streams with a calm current, surrounded by picturesque banks. This is what you will find on the work titled the "River", which was created in 1883; here, the river was depicted wider, and having a narrow sandy spit in the middle.

The painting is mainly characterized by the space and freedom. The circles visible on the water surface, immediately attract viewers’ attention. The artist most probably depicted rain in this way, and the unfriendly gloomy sky can serve as an eloquent confirmation of this.

While the circles break the specular reflection, you can still notice the stormy sky in the "clear" areas. Interestingly, the sky reflects itself in the water, which is a rather classic technique traditional for landscape painters.

The artist’s concentrated attitude to small details, making the landscape realistic and endowing it with a certain mood, attracts the attention. Over there, right on the spit, you can see two fallen trees, a small scattering of white pebbles, and close to the shore there is a bare skeleton of a fallen branch, as well as a young growth of light green shrubs sharply contrasting with the dark “aged” trees ...

The subject landscape would be especially close to the Russian viewers, since the Norwegian nature, as it is shown here, is very similar to the Russian views, featuring the same flood of the river, framed by trees and a rainy summer sky over the whole beautiful landscape - quite imagine, the author could be a Russian artist.

But no one understood how to depict a river like that like Thaulow. Changeable and lively, having its own character and mood, the river is definitely the main character in the majority of the works by Thaulow-the-impressionist. And in this Frits Thaulow is truly unique.
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