Transcending Boundaries: International Modern and Contemporary Art

Live Virtual Auction, 25 October 2023

International Modern and Contemporary Art

Sold for

ZAR 64 488
Lot 111
  • Bengt Nordenberg; Rowing to Summerfest
  • Bengt Nordenberg; Rowing to Summerfest
  • Bengt Nordenberg; Rowing to Summerfest

Lot Estimate
ZAR 80 000 - 120 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 64 488

About this Item

Swedish 1822-1902
Rowing to Summerfest

signed; inscribed with the artist's name on a brass plaque adhered to the frame

oil on canvas
77 by 107,5cm excluding frame; 93 by 123,5 by 4,5cm including frame


Accompanied by the artist's biography on a sheet of paper adhered to the reverse.

Swedish artist Bengt Nordenberg attended the Düsseldorf Academy in 1851 before moving permanently to the city. He is best known for his genre paintings with everyday scenes of middle- and upper-class life as is made manifest in Rowing to Summerfest. Typical of the style of the school at the time, Nordenberg incorporates the combined elements of the linearism and drawing techniques of the Neoclassicists with the subject matter and gesture of the Romantics.

The academy placed great emphasis on theatrical compositions, as can be seen in the present lot. He dramatically illuminates the two figures on the righthand side of the boat carrying the rest of the ‘cast’ to the summer festival. He places the ‘audience’ high up on the banks of the lake and makes use of a clever compositional device by positioning the man on the boat, waving his hat high in such a manner that it connects the figures on land and in the boat.

Nordenberg was a painter born in Jämshög, Blekinge County, Sweden. He began his journey in painting as an apprentice to a painter in Sölvesborg and later pursued studies at The Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. In 1851, he moved to Germany and became a part of the Düsseldorf School of Painting, studying under Theodor Hildebrandt and Adolph Tidemand. Tidemand’s influence played a significant role in shaping Nordenberg’s style and choice of subjects, as he worked as Tidemand’s assistant. Nordenberg is best known for his genre paintings depicting everyday life of the middle-class and upper-class in Sweden, as well as his religious paintings and altarpieces.

In 1856, he received a study grant from the Swedish government, which enabled him to travel to France and Italy. Returning to Düsseldorf in 1858, Nordenberg dedicated himself full-time to painting and became a member of the Malkasten artists’ association. He also provided private lessons to fellow Swedish artists, including Peter Eskilsson.


British Antique Dealers Association, London.

Private Collection.

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