Wooded Landscape

  • Artist: Thorvald Erichsen
  • Creation date: (1900)
  • Object type: Painting

On display: Room 061 The Collection Exhibition - Moods and emotions


An overabundance of green colours, lines, and shapes creates an impression of thriving, bountiful vegetation, as we peer into a luxuriant forest where trees and plants grow wild and free. Appearing somewhat dusky and impenetrable, the tangle of vegetation is so dense that it brings to mind a jungle. There is something playful and almost haphazard about the painting, with its bold execution throwing cautious rationality to the wind.

This is not a detailed, faithful reproduction of each individual plant. Thorvald Erichsen has instead chosen to convey his more immediate visual impression of the vegetation, emphasizing the forms, lines, and not least the dazzling colours of nature. This masterly use of painting’s unique capabilities explains Erichsen’s position as one the foremost Norwegian artists of his era in developing modern painting, where it is not the imagery itself that is the most eye-catching element but rather the techniques that underlie this imagery.

But Erichsen’s painting can also be understood against the backdrop of the spiritual, symbolist ideas that were in vogue at the turn of the century, and that also interested him. Seen from such a perspective, the painting seems to convey a sense of nature’s fertile and enigmatic vitality. Natural mysticism’s concept of an animated nature is seemingly suggested through elements such as the light, which here serves as the composition’s golden mean and which anchors the multitudinous forms. The clear contrast between light and shadow can moreover be interpreted metaphorically, for example as suggesting the eternal cycle of nature and its intricate processes.

Text: Nina Denney Ness

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


Thorvald Erichsen

Visual artist, Painter

Born 1868 in Trondheim, death 1939 in Oslo

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Skogsinteriør (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Olje på lerret
  • Height: 81.6 cm
  • Width: 98.2 cm
  • Depth: 2.3 cm
Motif - type:
Kjøpt 1906
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Børre Høstland/Lathion, Jacques/Høstland, Børre