After a period writing for his living, Krohg painted two series: one about sailing and the sea, the other about the artist’s model.
His last ‘naturalist’ or social realist painting was in 1889. He also painted his family, and evocative motifs to support Norway’s coming independence.
In the 1880s, he developed new themes, involving tiredness, cares of motherhood, and fallen women who had gone from slaving at sewing machines to prostitution. Paintings became part of social campaigning.
A social realist whose themes spanned controversial topics such as poverty and prostitution, he was a major influence of Edvard Munch, and central to Nordic and northern European art.