Landscape with Waterfall

  • Artist: Lars Hertervig
  • Creation date: 1858
  • Object type: Drawing

Not on display


Lars Hertervig is regarded as one of Norway’s foremost romantic artists and is particularly well known for his melancholic, mysterious landscapes. In this drawing from one of his sketchbooks, we encounter an unspoilt, ethereal landscape ravaged by storm. We see a waterfall and a river overflowing its banks. A dominant, ominous sky testifies to the storm, while uprooted trees lie scattered in front us like wrecked ships, broken on the rocks at the water’s edge.

The picture’s division between heaven and earth looks oddly fluid: the horizon is hazy, and the dynamic, unruly clouds seem almost to pour forth into the landscape. This sense of heaven and earth intermingling is intensified by the clouds’ reflection on the water surface. The river’s translucency seems moreover strangely airy, and where the river rests before the waterfall it resembles a bright cloud. This accentuates the distinctive natural lighting that so typifies Hertervig’s art – white, shimmering, and enigmatic. In this drawing, he emphasizes the light by juxtaposing it with hues of brown and other dark colours, bringing to mind processes of decomposition and the transience of life.

The picture’s ambiguous style is also created by the many inexplicable, fantastical formations, proportions, and perspectives. In his idiosyncratic depiction of nature, Hertervig violated the laws of physics and logics so as to rather depict what he experienced in his mind.

Text: Nina Denney Ness

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", Nasjonalmuseet 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-088-0


Lars Hertervig

Visual artist, Painter

Born 1830 in Tysvær, Rogaland, death 1902 in Stavanger

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Landskap med foss (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Lavering på papir
  • Height: 165 mm
  • Width: 209 mm
Motif - type:
Gift from Alexander Kielland 1902
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections

"Landscape with Waterfall" relates to: