Birch Tree in a Storm

Johan Christian Dahl Norwegian

Not on view

This is one of Dahl’s most iconic subjects, long seen as emblematic of Norway’s patient endurance of foreign rule. Although based on a nature study Dahl made in Germany in 1823 (now in the Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo), it was intended to evoke the landscape of Norway. The image of the single, heroic tree stems from seventeenth-century prototypes by Jacob van Ruisdael, who was in turn deeply influenced by his fellow Dutchman Allart van Everdingen, the first painter of Norway’s wild scenery.

There is a significantly larger version of this picture, also painted in 1849, in the KODE Art Museums of Bergen.

Birch Tree in a Storm, Johan Christian Dahl (Norwegian, Bergen 1788–1857 Dresden), Oil on paper, laid down on cardboard

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