Harald Sohlberg. Infinite Landscapes

In his art, Harald Sohlberg (1869–1935) focused primarily on the Norwegian landscape. His pictures show specific places, but also landscapes of the mind, of thought and eternity. This exhibition explored the full breadth of Sohlberg’s artistic career.

Sohlberg focused on parts of Norway that had attracted little interest among other artists. With his pictures he helped places such as Røros and Rondane to establish cultural and artistic identities. Despite their apparent realism, his paintings stand aloof from time and geographic location.

The exhibition showed the range and ambiguity of Sohlberg’s art. His pictures are mysterious and thought provoking. Images of tranquil summer nights convey the beauty of nature, while at the same time arousing a sense of disquiet. His rich colours appeal to our intuitions and emotions. He explores hidden connections between the outer perceptible world and the inner essence of the human condition.

Harald Sohlberg, "Flower Meadow in the North", 1905.
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet


In many of Sohlberg’s landscapes the absence of people is striking, not least because they contain so many indications of human life – houses, roads and telegraph poles. The tension Sohlberg captures between tradition and modernity makes his visual universe exceptional in both Norwegian and international contexts. His themes and painting technique distinguish him from his contemporaries, but also define him as unique and enduringly relevant.

Harald Sohlberg, "Summer Night", 1899.
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

The exhibition brings together works from throughout Sohlberg’s career. It examines his working methods, and shows how he developed and implemented his ideas. Variations on the same scene illustrate different aspects of his artistic process. On show are some 60 paintings, together with drawings, sketches, print works and photographs.

Harald Sohlberg, "Evening Glow", 1893.
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland

In 2019, the exhibition will travel to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London and the Museum Wiesbaden in Germany, to mark the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth. This will be the first time Sohlberg’s art has been presented to such a broad European audience.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue and a children’s book about Harald Sohlberg. Both publications will be available in Norwegian, English and German.


General: info@nasjonalmuseet.no, +47 21 98 20 00
Press Contact: Elise Lund
Exhibition Curator: Mai Britt Guleng 
Curator Education: Ellen Lerberg
Project Manager: Rikke Lundgreen