This oil painting Winter Night in the Mountains is a favorite of mine. In Norwegian it is called Vinternatt i Rondane, and a snow-covered mountain massif in full moonlight made such a strong impression on the Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg who was skiing through the area, that he continued to work with the theme for 14 years. He painted a cross on one of the peaks to heighten the sense of the sacredness in nature also because they resembled an icy cathedral. In 1914 he finished his most famous version which now is to be found in the National Gallery in Oslo which is part of The Nationalmuseet and is considered a real classic. I stopped by the other day and bought postcards of the painting.
Sohlberg painted his picture on a spot near Atnsjøen lake (Sohlbergplassen) with a grand and majestic view over the peaks of Rondane. This summer I went through here with a friend and we had to stop at this famous viewing point (above). Being an architectonic freak I was really impressed by the 19 curves made in concrete that gently go around slender pine trees, created by the Norwegian architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk. The platform frames the view towards the lake and the rounded peaks of the Rondane massif almost exactly as they appear in the painting.
Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen
And this is how it looked from the platform. The beauty made med speechless, and luckily I had the best of light for taking pictures. I have always felt attached to mountains, and to me the mountain range Rondane is the most beautiful there is. No wonder Harald Sohlberg spent 14 years working on these peaks.