Johan Fredrik Eckersberg
Johan Fredrik Eckersberg (16 June 1822 - 13 July 1870) was a Norwegian painter most noted for his landscapes. Eckersberg was a prominent figure in the transition from Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 to Realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 in 18th century Norwegian art, both as an artistic painter and a teacher at his own art school in Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...



Johan Fredrik Eckersberg was born at Drammen
Drammen is a city in Buskerud County, Norway. The port and river city of Drammen is centrally located in the eastern and most populated part of Norway.-Location:...

 in Buskerud
is a county in Norway, bordering Akershus, Oslo, Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Telemark, and Vestfold. The county administration is located in Drammen.-Geography:...

 county, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. He was placed in a mercantile office in Christiania
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 at the age of eighteen, but having previously been in Holland for several years, and visited Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, he had there imbibed a taste for art, so that after two years, against his father's wish, he relinquished his post, and entered the technical drawing-school at Christiania. Rapidly developing his talent for painting. Eckersberg trained at the School of Drawing ( Tegneskolen), under Johannes Flintoe
Johannes Flintoe
Johannes Flintoe was a Danish painter who spend most of his career in Norway, both painting and teaching. He is known for landscapes and scenes from Scandinavian history.-Biography:Flintoe was born in Copenhagen in 1787...

 (1843-46). He obtained one of the Government stipends for young artists and went to Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, where he studied landscape painting under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1846–48).


During the summer of 1846, Eckersberg follow Hans Gude
Hans Gude
Hans Fredrik Gude was a Norwegian romanticist painter and is considered along with Johan Christian Dahl to be one of Norway's foremost landscape painters...

 and August Cappelen
August Cappelen
Hermann August Cappelen was a Norwegian painter. Cappelen was best known for his melancholic, dramatic and romantic landscape compositions.-Background:...

 on a study trip to Gudbrandsdalen, where they visited Vågå
Vågå is a municipality in Oppland county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Vågåmo....

 and Lom
Lom as an ethnic group:* Lom people, a Gypsy group, mainly in the CaucasusLom as a placename:* Lom, Norway, a municipality in Norway** Lom prisoner of war camp, a Norwegian prisoner of war camp in the above-mentioned location....

. He returned to Christiania in 1848, where his works commanded a very fair sale. Eckersberg was plagued by bad lungs and needed a to stay in awarm climate. In 1852, he was obliged to visit Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

 for his health, where, having first devoted his time to portrait painting to increase his rather slender funds, he traveled over the island, making sketches, from which he afterwards painted his magnificent series of pictures of Madeira.

In 1850, he was admitted as a member of the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts, which served as the country's highest artistic authority. He also sat on the board of the National Gallery and Drawing School (1851-69) and the board of the Christiania Art Society from 1864. In 1859, he established an art school on Lille Grensen  in Christiania. A number of later famous painters were students at his art school, including Gerhard Munthe
Gerhard Munthe (painter)
Gerhard Peter Frantz Munthe was a Norwegian painter and illustrator.-Background:Munthe was born in Elverum to physician Christopher Pavels Munthe and his wife Christine Margrethe Pavels Aabel . He was a brother of historian Hartvig Andreas Munthe, writer Margrethe Munthe and military officer...

 and Christian Skredsvig
Christian Skredsvig
Christian Skredsvig was a Norwegian painter and writer. He is especially well known for his picturesque paintings.-Biography:Christian Skredsvig was born in Modum, Buskerud in 1854. When he was 15 years old he became a pupil at the Eckersberg drawing and paint school in Christiania . He later...

. After his death the school would be continued by Morten Müller
Morten Müller
Morten Müller was a Norwegian landscape painter.-Biography:Morten Müller was born by the Christianiafjord at Holmestrand, in Vestfold County, Norway. Morten Müller began his art studies with Adolph Tidemand and Hans Gude in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 1847 to 1848...

 and Knud Bergslien
Knud Bergslien
Knud Larsen Bergslien was a Norwegian painter, art teacher and master artist. In his art, he frequently portrayed the lives of the Norwegian people, their history and heroes of the past...


Every summer from the date of his return to Norway he visited the most grand and picturesque spots in his native country, making sketches from which he afterwards elaborated his pictures. His most important images date from the 1860s. His Grand Panoramic Scene from a Norwegian Plateau was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1867. He was not a great colourist and was too much a realist to be led by imagination. However, he made use of clear, cool colors, with magnificent views of plains and distant mountains. The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo owns two of his major works, Fra Valle i Setesdal (1852) and Fra Jotunheimen (1866), besides 10 smaller landscapes.

Personal life

Johan Fredrik Eckersberg was married during 1850 to Laura Martin Hansen (1821-1878). Eckersberg was appointed a Knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1870. Eckersberg died of tuberculosis at Sandvika
is the administrative centre of the municipality of Bærum in Norway. It was declared a city by the municipal council in Bærum on 4 June 2003.Sandvika is situated approximately west of Oslo. It is the main transportation hub for Western Bærum, and has a combined bus and railway station. Sandvika is...

, near Christiania.

Selected works

  • Fra Valle i Setesdal, 1852
  • Jesus i Getsemane, 1854
  • Brudeferd på Hardangerfjorden, 1865
  • Norsk høyfjell, soloppgang, 1865
  • Solnedgang på fjellet, 1865
  • Fra Jotunheimen, 1866
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