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Oil painting - Winter landscape: sunset
  • Winter landscape: sunset
    Munthe, Ludwig, born 1841 - died 1896
  • Enlarge image

Winter landscape: sunset

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Dusseldorf (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870-1885 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Munthe, Ludwig, born 1841 - died 1896 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ludwig Munthe (1841-1896) was born in Norway and became a pupil of the German artist Franz Wilhelm Schiertz (1859-1860) in Bergen from 1859 to 1860 and then in 1861 went to Düsseldorf, where he settled definitively. He also travelled in the Netherlands. His work was popular with art critics and collectors all over Europe.

This painting is a fine example of Munthe’s oeuvre essentially composed of winter landscapes dominated by grey and ochre pigments. The dramatic effect of light and subject matter are characteristic of the late Romanticism which favoured compositions dominated by a wide sky and a low, almost bare landscapes. After 1870, Munthe developed a style of his own, a form of Realism influenced by the Romantic aesthetic which is well illustrated in the present work. This painting is a typical example of the 19th-century Norwegian art under the influence of the Germanic Romanticism.

Physical description

A winter flat landscape with a frozen lake on the right hand-side and two rowing boats ashore; on the left are two houses with roof covered with snow with leaveless trees in the background and distant hills; under a wide atmospheric sky.

Place of Origin

Dusseldorf (painted)


ca. 1870-1885 (painted)


Munthe, Ludwig, born 1841 - died 1896 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

L. Munthe
signed lower right


Height: 69.8 cm estimate, Width: 87.3 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon, 1886

Historical significance: This composition is strongly reminiscent of the oeuvre of such Romantic painters as Caspar David Friedrich and Johann Christian Dahl. The subject matter, which provided a sense of mystery, and relatively dark palette are typical of the late Romanticism. However the broken brushwork and fleck of colours are close to the technique developed by the Realist movement, the school of Barbizon and in particular Charles-François Daubigny.
This painting is quite typical of the kind of work produced in the second half of the century by the Düsseldorf school, which favoured dramatic and sentimental landscapes influenced by the Bidermeier aesthetic but also aware of the new development of the Realist movement.

Historical context note

The word Romanticism derived from the medieval term 'romance' and was first used by the German poets and critics August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel to label a wider cultural movement beginning with the late 18th and ending towards the mid 19th century. Romanticism started first in Western Europe as a literary and philosophical movement and only gradually involved the other arts, explicitly around 1800. Romantic artists were fascinated by nature they interpreted as a mirror of the mind. They investigated human nature and personality, the folk culture, the national and ethnic origins, the medieval era, the exotic, the remote, the mysterious and the occult. The interest in the exotic and the non-Western, illustrated in France by such a painter as Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), as well as the medieval revival, witnessed in England by Horace Walpole (1717-1797), are perhaps the most identifiable parts of Romanticism. It is really in the Post-Napoleonic period that this movement gained ascendancy. Its greatest proponents were among others Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) and François-René de Chateaubriant (1768-1848) in France, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) in England, Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) and Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) in Germany. In the visual arts, it was largely played out by 1850, but in music it persists for another generation.

Descriptive line

Oil painting on canvas, 'Winter Landscape: Sunset', Ludwig Munthe, Norwegian school, ca. 1870-1885

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900 , London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 78-79, cat. no. 171.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Houses; Lake; Sky; Boats; Snow; Trees; Winter; Sunset; Landscape




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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