Adolph Tidemand is a key figure in the history of Norwegian romantic painting
Adolph Tidemand (August 14, 1814 August 25, 1876) is a famous Norwegian artist of the 19th century, an outstanding master of genre and portraiture. Adolf Tiedemand also painted many historical paintings and charming landscapes with views of his native Scandinavia. The artist’s work was highly appreciated by his contemporaries, and the king of Sweden Oscar II was his regular customer. The biography of the painter is closely connected not only with Norway, but also with Germany, where he lived a significant part of his life.
Adolph Tiedemand was a prominent representative of romanticism in European art. In addition, in his work, he often turned to the realistic style when writing paintings about the life of ordinary Norwegian peasants.
Biography of Adolf Tidemand
Adolf Tiedemand was born on August 14, 1814 in the small town of Mandal, located in the extreme south of Norway. His father was an influential local official, for many years he worked here as a customs inspector, and was also the official representative of the Norwegian parliament the Storting. The mother of the future artist was of Danish origin, and this circumstance in the future played an important role in his fate.
His parents discovered a talent for painting in early childhood and soon he began attending private drawing lessons from a local painter. After graduating from high school, the young man firmly decided to become an artist and was going to enter the college of arts in Christiania (modern Oslo). But on the advice of his mother, he nevertheless chose a more prestigious educational institution the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and at the age of 18 left for Denmark.
Here the young artist suddenly faced serious difficulties in realizing his dream. He was not admitted to the Royal Danish Academy, so Adolf Tiedemand had to study at a private drawing school for a year. Fortunately, his parents were quite wealthy people and were able to pay for their son’s living and education.
In 1833, Tidemand finally entered the Danish Academy of Arts, and two years later the first personal exhibition of his works took place within the walls of this educational institution. During his studies, the young man did not particularly stand out against the background of other students, and participation in traditional competitions did not bring him fame and high awards.
Therefore, in 1837, Adolf Tidemand decided to leave for Italy and continue his studies there.
He went to the Apennine Peninsula through Germany and on the way stopped in Dusseldorf, which in those years was an important artistic center of Europe. Adolf liked the city so much that he stayed and entered the local art academy, in the workshop of the young professor Theodor Hildebrandt. The mentor was only 10 years older than Tidemand, but he had a strong influence on his student and contributed in every way to his creative development.
It was in Dusseldorf that Adolf Tiedemand became an independent artist, he painted a number of interesting paintings and gained fame among the local public. After graduating from the academy, the painter went on a study trip to Italy with his brother Emil, and a little later, in 1842, went on a long trip to his native Norway. Over the three years of wandering, he made many sketches from nature and painted several paintings, and also managed to arrange his personal life.
The artist married Claudine Marie Bergitt Joger a girl with whom he had been in love for a long time, and together they decided to leave for permanent residence in Dusseldorf after the wedding. The painter’s marriage turned out to be very successful, the only son of the master was born in it, Adolf, whom his parents loved very much.
From the beginning of the 1850s to the end of the 1860s, Tidemand’s creative career developed very successfully. He had many wealthy clients, and at the annual exhibitions the master’s paintings were very successful. The Crown Prince, and later the King of Sweden and Norway, Oscar II, became Adolf’s regular customer. In 1869, the artist received the honorary title of professor at the Dusseldorf Academy, gradually he acquired the authority of a recognized master of European painting.
Tragic events in the artist’s life
The master’s happy and calm life suddenly ended in 1874 when his only son, Adolf, suddenly died at the age of 28. The sad event shocked the painter so much that he lost interest in life and decided to return to his homeland. From that moment on, the artist stopped painting, and his health began to deteriorate rapidly. On August 25, 1876, Adolf Tiedemand at the age of 62 died in Christiania, where he was buried.
The most famous paintings
The great Norwegian artist created many beautiful masterpieces that are still admired by millions of art connoisseurs around the world. And yet, some of the most famous paintings by Adolf Tiedemand include:
- “Honeymoon along the Hardangerfjord” (1848) is a work created by the master in collaboration with Hans Fredrik Gude, commissioned by the Christiania artists’ association. The masterpiece amazes the audience with magnificent views of the Scandinavian nature and a detailed description of the festive ceremony in the best Norwegian traditions.
- The Gaugians (1848) is a painting that was a resounding success at the Berlin Exhibition in the same year. Later, the author, at the request of customers, wrote three more versions of this work, describing a meeting of members of the reformist religious movement.
- “The Card Player” (1858) is a picture of the everyday genre imbued with humor and gaiety. On it, the artist depicted three young people in national costumes of the 19th century, keen on gambling in an ordinary wooden house.
Sinclair’s Arrival at Romsdal (1876) is the most famous masterpiece of the historical genre in the painter’s arsenal. It depicts the famous Scottish mercenary with his army at the time of his arrival on Norwegian soil to fight the Danes.