Forests, Rocks, Torrents brings together an array of Norway and Switzerland's most talented 19th-century artists, who shared an interest in capturing their native dramatic alpine landscapes. This richly illustrated book also examines the differences that climate, character, and political regimes have imposed on artistic practices.
Distinct social and political situations in Norway and Switzerland yielded fundamental differences in the two countries' painting traditions. As Norway endured a long struggle for freedom, Switzerland remained proudly independent. While Norway was poor, isolated, and dependent for survival on its natural resources, the Swiss enjoyed prosperity, a cosmopolitan society, and prestige as an early center of industry. The authors examine how this was manifested in the landscape paintings of such prominent artists as Johan Christian Dahl, Thomas Fearnley, Peder Balke, and Alexandra Calame. The book also supplies a helpful chronology and brief artist biographies.