Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Oil painting - Vessel in the moonlight
  • Vessel in the moonlight
    Baade, Knud Andreassen, born 1808 - died 1879
  • Enlarge image

Vessel in the moonlight

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Munich (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850-1868 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baade, Knud Andreassen, born 1808 - died 1879 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Knud-Andreassen Baade (1808-1879) was born in Skjold in Norway. At first self-taught, he attended the Copenhagen Academy and became a student of Christopher Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853). From 1829 to 1831, he stayed in Norway and became in 1839 the pupil of Johann Christian Dahl (1788-1857) who had a decisive influence on his art. He settled definitively in Munich in 1845 and became there a master of lyrical moonlight motifs. He was appointed a member of the Stockholm Academy in 1872.

This painting is a fine example of Baade's lyrical landscape by moonlight, a category of which he became a specialist after he settled in Munich in 1845. It shows a boat adrift at sea by moonlight, which conveys a sense of mystery. This composition is strongly reminiscent of the oeuvre of such Romantic painters as Caspar David Friedrich and Johann Christian Dahl. The high degree of finish, subject matter and relatively dark palette are typical of the late Romanticism.

Physical description

A ship adrift at sea by moonlight, its sails furled.

Place of Origin

Munich (painted)


ca. 1850-1868 (painted)


Baade, Knud Andreassen, born 1808 - died 1879 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 55.5 cm estimate, Width: 82 cm estimate, Height: 788 mm gilt frame, Width: 1048 mm gilt frame, Depth: 80 mm gilt frame, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend, 1868

Historical significance: Although Baade's landscapes resemble those of his master, J.C. Dahl, they usually present an exaggerated and overwhelming nature in both his calm moonlight views and rough sea storms. In this respect, the present painting is typical of Baade's oeuvre, dominated by hues of dark blue and ochre. A similar composition although brighter in tones is Moonlight landscape, dated 1851, The National Gallery, Oslo.
From 1845, Baade's style changed and focused on moonlight landscapes, a category in which he became a master. Moonlight landscape was not a genre invented by Baade as some examples can be found already in the 15th and 16th century and especially in the 17th-century Dutch art with such artists as Aert van der Neer (1603-1677). Ultimately Baade was much influenced by the art of Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and Johann Christian Dahl (1788-1857), who produced similar compositions.
This painting, along with an earlier composition by Baade (see 1555-1869), was given by the Rev. Townshend who owned a comprehensive collection of landscape paintings by 19th-century Northern artists.

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, 'Vessel in the Moonlight', Knud-Andreassen Baade, Norwegian school, ca. 1850-1868

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

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 2, cat. no. 6.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Moonlight; Night scenes, nocturns; Ships; Landscape; Marines (visual works)




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.