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Sea Fortress

Peder Balke Norwegian

Not on view

During his 1832 sea journey along the Norwegian coast, Balke joined a military convoy at Tromsø. A hurricane off the Nordkyn peninsula forced the group to seek shelter for one week at Vardøhus Fortress, the subject of this monochromatic picture, which is dated 1844. Its fine painterly flourishes and brown tones recall works by the French Romantic marine artist Théodore Gudin (1802–1880), which Balke admired at the 1836 Paris Salon.

The first collectors of Balke’s paintings are rarely known. An inscription on the back of this one suggests that it was acquired from the artist the year he painted it, perhaps during his second sojourn in Dresden.

Sea Fortress, Peder Balke (Norwegian, Helgøya, Nes 1804–1887 Oslo (Kristiania)), Oil on canvas

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