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A mother and child welcome home a fishing boat, presumably containing the child’s father. The combination of the magical light effect and the fact that so much remains hidden encourages different interpretations. Dahl’s father was a fisherman in Norway and so perhaps we are looking at a childhood memory of loss and reconciliation. Then again, 1840 saw the death of Dahl’s mentor and friend the German romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich.
oil on canvas
H 21 x W 31 cm
purchased with assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, the Resource/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the R. D. Turner Charitable Trust, 2002
Signed and dated: J Dahl 1840