Fritz Thaulow was the most internationally recognized Norwegian artist of his time; he exhibited throughout Europe and North America. Closely connected to the leading avant-garde painters of his time, he was Paul Gauguin's brother-in-law and a friend of Claude Monet.
Thaulow's signature composition was the juxtaposition of buildings and water, usually the rivers and canals of Belgium and Northern France. The present work, probably painted in Normandy, reveals Thaulow's extroardinary ability to convey flowing water -- its eddies, currents and ripples -- which he used to imbue his canvases with a sense of movement and reflected light. These qualities are so strong, that despite Thaulow's Impressionist, painterly technique, his paintings have an almost photographic quality.
Thaulow had an extraordinarily chromatic palette, which he was able to modulate to very subtle effect. With the exception of a few paintings of Paris and Venice, he largely depicted rural scenes, skillfully capturing a mood of quiet poetry and the light of the different seasons. His paintings of winter, for example, render the crispness of the air with stark contrasts of snowy white and black, freezing water. The present work, conversely, deftly conveys the softness of spring, with the pinks and reds of the houses and blossoms shimmering gently in the water.