research is bringing a previously unheralded artist to the
attention of a much wider audience.
Johan Christian Dahl, one of the foremost landscape painters of
the nineteenth century, has been called the father of Norwegian
painting, yet remains relatively unknown outside northern
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of
Birmingham, in the West Midlands and at the heart of the UK, has
built an exhibition around the gallery's purchase of Dahl's
exquisite “Mother and Child by the Sea”.
The exhibition, “Moonrise Over Europe - JC Dahl and
Romantic Landscape” is looking to expand understanding of the
romantic landscape painters of the nineteenth century, locating the
Dahl painting within the romantic movement and investigating the
fascination with the moon that came to preoccupy Romantic painters,
especially in northern Europe, between 1770 and the mid 1800s.
The Barber Institute is making a name for itself as a developer
of exhibitions based on and highlighting academic research.
Previous exhibitions have featured little known 17th
century masters Bartholomeus Breenbergh and Mathias Stom as well as
more familiar names such as Turner and Rossetti. Their policy of
steering away from exhibitions as blockbusters means that they are
successfully raising the profile and appeal of lesser-known
artists, such as Johan Christian Dahl.
“Moonrise Over Europe” has become the Institute's
most successful exhibition to date, eclipsing exhibitions based on
the works of better known artists such as Turner and Rossetti,
bringing the work of Dahl out of the darkness and into the
- The Barber Institute for Fine Arts
- Research being conducted
- Various shots of “Moonrise over Europe”
- Detail of paintings
- Paul Spencer-Longhurst, Senior Curator, The Barber Institute of
- Richard Verdi, Director, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and
Professor of Fine Art, University of Birmingham
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