A new mother carries her infant over the threshold of a church for their christening. But whose painting influenced Harriet Backer’s masterpiece?
With Edvard Munch launched in his career, Normann returned to painting the fjords of his native Norway.
Born in north Norway, trained in Germany, he mostly painted breathtaking views of fjords. But in 1892, he seized the opportunity to change the history of art, and became godfather to one of the world’s most famous paintings.
By the end of the war, he suffered worsening bouts of heavy drinking. He continued to paint, including telling his life story, both past and future.
His paintings were praised by Edvard Munch himself. Tackling themes such as prostitution and alcoholism, they are important works.
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.
His romantic views of the North Cape of Norway and the Northern Lights were for many their first glimpse of the uttermost north.