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Frits Thaulow | Skagen painter

Frits Thaulow (1847-1906) was a Norwegian Impressionist painter, best known for his naturalistic depictions of landscape.
Johan Frederik Thaulow was born in Christiania, the son of the wealthy chemist, Harald Conrad Thaulow (1815-1881) and Nicoline "Nina" Louise Munch (1821-1894). Thaulow was educated at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen in 1870-72, and from 1873-75 he studied with Hans Gude at the Baden School of Art in Karlsruhe.
Thaulow was one of the earliest artists to paint in Skagen in the north of Jutland, soon to become famous for its Skagen painters.

He arrived there in 1879 with his friend Christian Krohg who persuaded him to spend the summer and autumn there. They arrived from Norway in Thaulow's little boat. Thaulow, who had specialized in marine painting turned to Skagen's favourite subjects, the fishermen and the boats on the shore.
After his stay in Skagen, Thaulow returned to Norway in 1880. He became one of the leading young figures in the Norwegian art scene, together with Christian Krohg and Erik Werenskiold, and helped established the first National Art Exhibit (also known as Høstutstillingen or Autumn Exhibit) in 1882. Many of Thaulow's best known Norwegian scenes are from Åsgårdstrand, which had become an important center for artists and painters dating from the 1880s.

Thaulow moved to France in 1892, living there until his death in 1906. Thaulow soon discovered that the cityscapes of Paris did not suit him. His best paintings were made in small towns such as Montreuil-sur-Mer (1892-94), Dieppe and surrounding villages from (1894-98), Quimperle in Brittany in 1901 and Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne in the Corrèze département, 1903.
Thaulow received a number of honors for his artistic activity, including his appointment as commander of the 2nd Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1905. He received the French Legion of Honor, Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus from Italy and the Order of Nichan Iftikhar from Tunisia. He died in Volendam, in the Netherlands.
The National Gallery of Norway features 37 of his works. Other prominent displays include The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University.

The period of 1880-1892, coinciding with Thaulow’s return to Norway, was also a pivotal time period for Norwegian art. During these years, the Realist art form became accepted in his homeland. Much of this was based on French models that emulated what he had learned during his year’s living in Paris. This allowed Mr. Thaulow to combine his very personal impressions of Norway’s scenery to create a new form of the Impressionist landscape.
His interpretations of the public gardens and surrounding areas of Oslo were widely extolled. One of his favorite subjects was that of skiers on Oslo’s winter slopes. Many of his creations depict Asgardstrand, a town 100 kilometers south of Oslo. His works utilizing oils and pastels in the 1890′s contributed to the poetic nature of that time period’s frame of mind.