Thomas Fearnley (Fredrikshald 1802 - Munich 1842)
Romsdal, with Romsdalshorn in the distance
signed and dated lower right: Th Fearnley 1837
oil on canvas
456 x 600 mm
Sotheby’s London, 14 June 2005, lot 150
Asbjorn Lunde, New York
The Asbjorn Lunde Foundation
possibly, London, The Society of British Artists, 1838, exhibited as: Romsdal, Norway,
Tromsø, 2007, Den Ville Natur: Sveitsisk og Norsk Romantikk, Malerier fra Asbjørn Lundes samling, New York, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø, 29 September–30 December 2007, Kunstmuseum, Bergen, 20 June–31 August 2008, cat. 40
Forests, Rocks and Torrents: Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection, National Gallery, London, 2011, cat. 29
In Front of Nature: The European Landscapes of Thomas Fearnley, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, 2012, cat. 59
Sublime North: Romantic Painters Discover Norway, Paintings from the Collection of Asbjørn Lunde, The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 7 September 2017 – 15 January 2018
This painting shows Romsdalen, a valley in the Western part of Norway, in autumn. Fearnley visited Romsdalen in 1836. Dated drawings of the archipelago suggest he arrived by sea around 19th June. A few days later he drew from the Romsdalsfjord and Molde. On 28 August he sketched the pine trees and boulders on view here. He painted several oil studies there; some were detailed motifs that he later used in large compositions in London where he had moved in 1836. Following a trip to the Lake District, Fearnley spent the winter months of 1837/8 preparing paintings inspired by his earlier travels for the 1838 exhibitions in London. On 2nd February 1838, his friend Dr. Blick wrote to tell his wife that: ‘Fearnley brought me with him today to see the art exhibition, you will not be surprised to hear that I regarded his pieces amongst the loveliest of the 300 or so exhibited’. This exhibition was at the Society of British Artists where Fearnley had a selection of works, possibly including this work, though the title Romsdal, Norway, could also refer to a painting titled View from Romsdal, 1838.
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