Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thomas Fearnley

Derwentwater in Borrowdale, Looking South
oil on paper, laid down on canvas
28 x 39 cm
location unknown

Thomas Fearnley (1802-1842) was a Norwegian painter, and a leading representative of Norwegian romantic nationalism in painting. He was the son of merchant Thomas Fearnley. His mother belonged to the prominent Norwegian family. He was originally trained in the military but left in 1819 to pursue the arts. His work was often commissioned by the royal family of Norway, and later the royal family of Sweden.

He traveled all over Europe in the 1830's, visiting London, Paris and Munich as well as Italy. During his time in Italy, his work was greatly influenced by the sunny nation and his subject matter was suddenly bathed in the warm southern light. He spent the rest of his life traveling between Norway and England and eventually moved to Munich where he contracted typhoid and died at the age of 39. His son, also named Thomas, was a shipping magnate whose business continues to run today. The National Gallery in Oslo owns a total of 54 of his smaller pictures and sketches and also a series of drawings.