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Forests, Rocks, Torrents - National Gallery

Exhibition preview

FORESTS, Rocks, Torrents, an exhibition of Norwegian and Swiss landscapes from the Lunde Collection, is on display in the Sunley Room at the National Gallery until September 18, 2011.

This landmark exhibition displays what is arguably one of the most complete collections of 19th-century Norwegian and Swiss landscape paintings outside their respective nations.

The 45 works displayed demonstrate the similarities of the Norwegian and Swiss traditions, but also the differences that climate, character, national temperament and political regimes impose on art.

Norway was engaged in a long struggle for freedom from Sweden and was poor, isolated and dependent for survival on its natural resources. Switzerland had been proudly independent for centuries and was prosperous, cosmopolitan and an early centre of industry.

The exhibition asks: how are these realities implicated in their respective painting traditions?

The exhibition includes works by Johan Christian Dahl, who, in a sense, invented Norwegian landscape painting, along with work by his student Thomas Fearnley. It also features work by Alexandre Calame, the father of the Swiss tradition. It aims to expand our understanding of the vital role national landscape painting played in European culture 150 years ago.

Asbjørn Lunde, an American of Norwegian extraction, has spent some 40 years as a distinguished art collector in several fields. Nowhere else can Norwegian and Swiss landscape painting be compared so directly and in such depth as in his collection.

Admission: Free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm, Fridays from 10am to 9pm.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500 continues in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery until October 2, 2011.