Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1857) was the son of a fisherman, born in Bergen on the west-coast, and a master at capturing the force of the Norwegian landscape.
He lived much of his life in Dresden – in inland Germany – and one can only assume his longing for the power of the world of his childhood.
For millennia, the Norwegians have mastered the ocean and the country’s many waterways. The sea provided food in abundance – and was the coastal people’s main thoroughfare.
What the modern-day Norwegians tend to forget, is that roads, tunnels and bridges are relatively recent acquaintances. Next to Canada, Norway has the longest coastline in the world. Until well into the 1900’s, the fjords and the coastal waters were where people travelled – on all kinds of water faring vessels – big and small. Whether when going to church, fishing, or trading one’s wares.
The Norwegian seafarers travelled to all corners of the planet, and as late as in the 1960s and 1970s, many young people spent a year or more at sea, just like their older mates had done before them. «Til sjøs» – at sea – are two words that still carry a world of adventure for many Norwegians today.