Lot 140
  • 140

August Cappelen Norwegian, 1827-1852

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  • August Cappelen
  • Gammelt Kvernhus
  • signed and dated A. Cappelen 1850 l.r.
  • oil on canvas
  • 31.5 by 42cm., 12¼ by 18½in.


Oslo, Blomqvist, Mindeutstilling, Herman August Cappelen 1827-1852, 1927, no. 59
Oslo Kunstforening, A Cappelen 1827-1852, 1957, no. 40
Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, August Cappelen, 1997, no. 14 (illustrated in colour in the catalogue)


Sigurd Willoch, August Cappelen og den romantiske landskapskunst, Oslo, 1928
Sigurd Willoch, 'Herman August Cappelen' in Norsk kunstnerleksikon, Oslo, 1981, vol. I, pp. 385-388

Catalogue Note

Cappelen came from Telemark in the middle of Norway. He joined Hans Gude in Düsseldorf as his pupil in 1846 but his life was cut tragically short on his death six years later at the age of just twenty-five years old. Despite his premature demise he left a body of work behind him which is remarkable for its rich vision of the Norwegian landscape. 

Typically his compositions depict nature's continuous cycle of regeneration and decay, in which Norway's thickly forested woodland takes centre stage. In the present work the fecundity of nature is contrasted with the decaying sawmill, a symbol of man's vain attempt to tame his surroundings.