From the Inlet of Oslo
- Artist: Hans Gude
- Creation date: 1874
- Object type: Painting
By the time he painted this picture, Hans Gude had become a professor of landscape painting at the Großherzoglich Badischen Kunstschule in Karlsruhe. After leaving Düsseldorf he spent a couple of years in Wales, where the mild climate was conducive to open-air painting. Depicting clouds and atmospheric effects became Gude’s speciality, as did the reflection of sunlight on water. In the 1840s and 1850s he mainly painted highland landscapes, before progressing to coastal imagery; these preferences were perhaps motivated by his summertime visits to his parents in Norway, who in the 1850s relocated from the mountainous region of Hallingdal to the coastal village of Sand near Lillesand. More important, however, was probably the increasing popularity of maritime painting among the general public. The pathos of the highlands was supplanted by spectacular images of coastlines and breakers, but also the more harmonious scenes of majestic seacraft in the waters of Eastern Norway became popular.
From the Inlet of Oslo, of which Gude made several versions, epitomizes the artist’s many depictions of the fjord in a sea breeze. The sun is obscured by fair weather clouds, and Akershus Fortress is visible in the background. The viewer’s gaze passes over a few small craft and glittering waves inward toward the dominating sailing ship, and the composition is rounded out by a fullrigged ship anchored in front of Kolsås in the distance. A puff of smoke at the edge of the horizon intimates that we are in the age of the steamer. The luminous intensity is heightened by Gude juxtaposing dark pictorial elements with the illuminated surface of the sea.
Gude’s brother built model ships as a hobby, and Gude used these models as reference when working on maritime paintings in his studio.