In his autobiographical records of recent years Dahl looks back on his youth with bitterness. He regrets that he never had any "real teachers" and believes that he is the "loop better circumstances Honours would have Bliva anything Andet and Fuldkomnere end what I became." . . . From 1803 to 1809 he was apprenticed to painter JG Müller, whose workshop was leading in Bergen. A craftsman education was not uncommon among artists, but Dahl looked back on their apprenticeships as "almost Trældomsaar" and accused Müller to keep their apprentices in "Expanding Domhed" for the better to exploit their labor.I suppose that means he thought he was cheated of even greater artistic success by his poverty and lack of training, but since he was a lot more famous and successful than I will ever be I am short on sympathy. Plus, the hometown folks who gave him such a bad start eventually raised money for Dahl to travel to the closest real art school, in Copenhagen, where he arrived in 1811. (View from Vaekero near Christiana, 1827)
When Dahl in recent years invalidates their first teachers, I suspect they him to see himself as a true romantic genius - appeared fully finished "as Pilsen where life is skudt op af Earth".He must have learned something in Copenhagen, because he emerged painting in the then stylish Romantic mode, lots of stormy skies and moonlight. (Study of a Sky by Moonlight, 1822). On the other hand he never did acquire some of the usual painter's skills, especially portraiture -- that was how most nineteenth-century painters earned their livings, and the portraits I have seen by Dahl are downright clumsy.
Caspar David Friedrich. Friedrich had also come from a relatively impoverished background and studied at Copenhagen before settling at Dresden, so they had that in common. Friedrich was 14 years older, and he seems to have exercised a great influence on his younger friend. The two had quite different personalities; Friedrich was a melancholy brooder who liked to be alone, whereas Dahl was more upbeat and social. Still, they bonded in the way people with such differences sometimes do and spent much time together (Moon and Clouds over Dresden, 1827).
Dahl lived secluded with her two surviving children, Caroline and Siegwald, aided by a faithful housekeeper did not seem to afflict the aging grouch unreasonable complaints. (Tree with four Robins, 1830)
There's nothing there fængsler more it formed, Dybt sentient human end Naturskiønheden af Foods prow and its public policy Dominions, and historical memories ... Nature and Overblivelsen af man plants speak to us about the Past.And there, my friends, we will have to leave the topic until we learn Norwegian. Holmestrand, 1843.
National Museum of Norway. Above, studies of fjords and trees.