Hans Gude

Portrait of Hans Gude

Hans Gude was a Norwegian Romanticist painter. Along with Johan Christian Dahl he is regarded as one of Norway’s best landscape painters. He also became associated with the Dusseldorf school of Painting. He was born in Oslo on 13th March 1825 and died in Berlin on 17th August 1903 aged 78.

Major Works

“Studies of a Woman from Rugen” (1887)
“Vikingskip” (Vikingship) (1889)
“Oban Bay, Scotland” (1889)
“Brenning Ved Hanko” (1890)

Biography Timeline

Hans Gude was born on 13th March 1825 in Oslo (then known as Christiania). His father was Ove Gude who was a judge. His mother was Marie Elisabeth Brandt. 

1838: He attends Johannes Flintoe’s evening classes at the Royal School of Drawing in Christiania. 

1841: The poet and art theorist Johan Sebastian Welhaven suggests that he is sent to Dusseldorf in Germany to be educated in art. The landscape painting professor at the Academy of Art in Dusseldorf, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, rejects him and advises him to give up painting altogether however the German landscape painter Andreas Achenbach offers to give him private lessons.

1842: In the autumn he is finally accepted by the Academy in Dusseldorf and enters Schirmer’s landscape painting class. He makes progress and is described as very talented at the end of the 1844 term. He attends meetings of the Society for Landscape Composition at Schirmer’s home. He meets Carl Friedrich Lessing and the two become close friends. He becomes a student teacher at the Academy

1844: At the end of his course he leaves to live in Christiania, Norway.

1850: He marries Betsy Charlotte Juliane Anker on 25th July, who is the daughter of General Erik Anker.

1852: He wins a Gold medal at the Berlin Exhibition.

1854: He is appointed Professor of Landscape Painting at the Dusseldorf Academy taking over from his former teacher Schirmer. He was recommended for the position by the Director of the Academy, Wilhelm von Schadow, but only after Lessing, Andreas and Oswald Achenbach had refused the post due to the low levels of pay. He takes on private pupils to supplement his income.

1855: He wins the Medal, 2nd class at the Paris Exhibition.

1857: He resigns from the Dusseldorf Academy blaming opposition from some of his pupils, however he stays on for another five years as the situation improves.

1860: He wins a Gold medal at the Berlin Exhibition.

1861: He wins a Medal, 2nd class at the Paris Exhibition.

1862: In the Autumn he decides to go to Britain having sold many paintings there over the years and moves to the Lledr Valley near Conwy in Wales which was already a colony of plein air artists.

1863: His exhibition at the Royal Academy in London and again in 1864 are both failures. In December he accepts a professorship at the Baden School of Art in Karlsruhe, Germany. Many Norwegian painters who would have gone to Dusseldorf now go to Karlsruhe over the following twenty years. He often takes his students out into the countryside to paint and he himself is particularly interested in light on the water. He paints “Fra Chiemsee” at Karlsruhe which is exhibited in Vienna and bought by the Kunsthistoriches Hofmuseum.

1866: He becomes Director of the Karlsruhe Academy until 1868.

1867: He wins the Medal, 2nd class at the Paris Exhibition. 

1869: He becomes Director of the Karlsruhe Academy again for one year.

1873: He wins the Gold Medal at the Vienna Exhibition for his paining “Nodhavn Ved Norkekysten”.

1876: He wins a Medal for “A Fresh Breeze, Norwegian Coast and Calm, Christianiaford” at the United States Centennial Commission International Exhibition in Philadelphia, USA.

1880: He leaves Karlsruhe to take up leading the master studio in landscape painting at the Academy of Art in Berlin. The post entitles him to become a member of the Academy’s Senate which is state recognition for his achievements. He has between five and eight students but this declines over the next decade.

1883: He paints “Ladies in the Sunshine”.

1884: He paints “Landskap Ved Stavern”.

1888: He paints “The Lake of Constance”.

1889: He paints “Oban Bay”.

1890: He paints “Molde Fra Utsikten” and “Brenning Ved Hanko”.

1892: He paints “A Norwegian Seaport”.

1893: He paints “Den Gamle Sneplov Ved Skovkanten” and “Honefos”.

1894: He is awarded the Grand Cross of Saint Olave by the King of Norway.

1895: The Christiania Art Society holds a retrospective of Gude’s works including his paintings, studies, watercolours, sketches and etchings. In Berlin he begins to use Gouache and watercolour more frequently.

1896: He paints “Fra Kristianfjorden”.

1898: He paints “Sommernatt Ved Drobak” and “Kaien Pa Feste I Naer Moss” (The Jetty at Feste near Moss).

1900: He paints “Fishing at Solvkronen”.

1901: He retires from the Berlin Academy.

1902: His exhibition in Christiania is a failure as his style has fallen out of favour.

Hans Gude died on 17th August 1903 in Berlin. He was buried in the Vår Frelsers Gravlund, (Var Freslers Cemetery) in Oslo, Norway.

Further Information

List of paintings by Gude.