Christian Krohg

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Krohg, Christian


Born Aug. 13, 1852, in Vestre Aker, near Christiania, now Oslo; died Oct. 16, 1925, in Oslo. Norwegian painter.

Krohg studied in Karlsruhe and Berlin from 1874 to 1879. In 1909 he became a professor and director of the Academy of Art in Christiania. Krohg created a wide range of realistic genre pictures and psychologically penetrating portraits; with great warmth of feeling he portrayed sailors struggling against the elements (Hard to Port!, 1879; Rough Wind, 1882, Royal Palace, Oslo), as well as poor city folk (Portrait of a Girl, 1886). Certain of his works also contained criticisms of society, such as Albertine in the Police Station (1886–87; all works mentioned, except one, are in the National Gallery in Oslo).


Gauguin, P. Christian Krohg. Oslo, 1932.
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As a student of Harriet Backer in Oslo and Christian Krohg in Paris, Astrup was primed to become part of the neo-romantic naturalist school which emerged in the wake of the Norwegian romantic painter Johan Christian Dahl.
He fell in with a bohemian crowd, absorbing their philosophy for a lifetime; came under the influence of anarchist and nihilist Hans Jaeger, who admonished him to "write his life"; and enrolled in the Royal School of Art and Design of Christiania (now Oslo) to study under naturalist painter Christian Krohg.
The Norwegian painter Christian Krohg similarly wrote: "Munch is the only one, the first one to turn to idealism, who dares to subordinate Nature, his model, to the mood.
He studied with the Norwegian naturalist Christian Krohg and by the middle of the decade had become immersed in the bohemian life of the city.
Nowhere does Munch more fully "subordinate Nature, his model, to the mood" through overall composition, as his contemporary Christian Krohg put it, than in his print-making.
Beyond the famous initial blows to bourgeois morality dealt by Munch and by the realist or naturalist painters, such as Christian Krohg, who were his teachers, what can be culled from the Nordic corpus for an exhibition like this are, by and large, the exceptional cases: Leif Gabrielsen's late-'60s photo-diary of a day in the life of a tiny commune in the Norwegian city of Tromso; Poul Gernes's 1969 project Public Bath, which, documented here, displayed his usual synthesis of abstraction and social engineering (in this case in the form of a functioning sauna installed atop a library); Marie-Louise Ekman's burlesque, assertive body art; or the Happening-oriented work of Gruppe 66 or the Kanonklubben collective.

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