HANS DAHL
Norwegian 1849 - 1937


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Hans Dahl is a well known landscape and genre painter born in Hardanger, Norway on February 19th, 1849.  Dahl was first educated to become an officer and served in the Swedish army. In 1871 he became a lieutenant and served in the Bergenske Brigate until 1874. It was in the army that Dahl began his art studies, studying under J.F. Eckersberg and K. Bergslien. After his service, Dahl began studying under Ludwig Riefstahl and the celebrated Norwegian landscape artist Hans-Fredrik Gude at the Carlsruhe Academy. He then studied with with Karl Gebhardt and Wilhelm Sohn in Dusseldorf, and his art became associated with the Dusseldorf school of painting which was known for whimsical and finely detailed landscapes.
    Dahl debuted in Dusseldorf in 1876. He eventually settled in Berlin in 1888 and remained there until 1819, though he returned to Norway almost every summer. The German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II became one of Dahl’s patrons, and granted Dahl a professorship in 1910. 
Dahl remained true to his ties to Romanticism, despite the increasing movement towards Modernism and naturalism which characterized Norwegian art in the late 19th century. Best known for his portraits of Norwegian maidens, Hans Dahl paints a descriptive portrait of life in the Norwegian Fjords.  He often incorporates majestic Fjord landscapes with local boats and festive scenes of daily tasks such as gathering flowers, as well as courting scenes.
Dahl was married to Helene Bewer, the daughter of painter Clemens Bewer (1820-1884). Their son was the Norwegian painter Hans Andreas Dahl (1881-1919). Hans Dahl Sr. was appointed knight of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, 1st class, in 1902. Dahl passed away in Balestrand in 1937.