Thomas Fearnley, 1802 – 1842, NORWEGIAN
GRAVENSFJORD, c. 12 July 1839
Oil on paper laid on canvas
43 by 57.5cm., 17 by 22¾in.
Gravensfjord is the former name for Granvinfjord, a side fjord Hardangerfjord in Hordaland, located on Norway’s south western coast near Bergen.
Thomas Fearnley (27 December 1802 -16 January 1842) was a Norwegian romantic painter, and a leading representative of Norwegian romantic nationalism in painting. His son Thomas Fearnley (1841–1927) founded the Fearnley dynasty of shipping magnates.
Fearnley attended National Cadet Corps 1814-1819. He was a student of the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry (1819-1821), Art Academy in Copenhagen (1821-1823) and the Art Academy in Stockholm (1823–27).
Fearnley received several orders from the Swedish royal family and from other members of the royal court including Swedish Count Gustaf Trolle-Bonde. He conducted study tours in Norway (1824-1826), at which time he met Johan Christian Dahl in Sogn.
Fearnley traveled extensively in the 1830s visiting Munich, Paris, London, Hull and the English Lake district. During September 1832, he went from Venice to Rome and visited Sicily the following summer. He mostly painted in small towns south of Naples. He went to Paris in the summer of 1835 and visited London the next year. During the summer of 1839 he was on a study tour to the Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord.
Fearnley’s paintings alternate between oil sketches and larger, composed landscapes meant for exhibition. His large studio compositions have a cool monumental attitude with a taste for the powerful and wildly romantic in the favorite motifs, wilderness and waterfalls, and with a strong emphasis on the image’s architectural structure.
Fearnley contracted typhoid and died in January 1842 when he was only 39 years old. More on Thomas Fearnley
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