The Thorvaldsens Museum Archives

Comment on 28.8.1821

What “dry” and “elaborate” mean precisely remains an open question, but it is unquestionable that neoclassical painters like Jacques-Louis David and C.W. Eckersberg were more clear and rigorous in their works than the romantic Dahl. Dahl’s expressive approach to things appealed to Thorvaldsen, and both must have had a preference for a violent and temperamental description of nature – at any rate in painting.

Aubert finds another representative of the elaborate and dry in Thomas Fearnley. And in a letter dated 22.7.1822, Dahl mentions his own pupil Götzloff, whose paintings, after his journey to Italy, tended towards the dry and the stiff.

Cf. Andreas Aubert: Den Nordiske Naturfølelse og Professor Dahl, Kristiania 1894. p. 60-61 and p. 120-21.

Cf. Marie Lødrup Bang: Johan Christian Dahl – Life and Works, vol. 1, Oslo 1987, p. 123.

Last updated 17.09.2018