Realist, Naturalist, or Impressionist? The distinctive landscapes of Thaulow complemented the figurative painting of his friend Christian Krohg.
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.
Initially a portraitist and history painter, be became strongly Impressionist, painting wonderful landscapes in the late nineteenth century.
Rural naturalist, Impressionist, and Pre-Raphaelite styles in portraits, landscapes, genre, and religious paintings: that is versatility.
He painted with the Danish Impressionists at Skagen, in St Ives, and above all in Hungary – and has been all but forgotten now.
After japonisme, it was appropriate that Japanese painters should be trained in Paris and take the latest avant garde European styles and techniques back.
Their works are rich in light and colour, strongly evocative of one of the most successful artists colonies of the nineteenth century, and include some of the most lyrical paintings of the whole century.