Station: [3] Friedrich Preller d. Ä. | Rocks in the Surf (Skudesnæs, Norway), c. 1846

The Weimar landscape painter Friedrich Preller the Elder turned to the North after a number of journeys spent studying and painting in Italy.He travelled around Norway for several months in 1840 and discovered the imposing landscapes of the fjords:he explored the country on foot, but also travelled on a two-wheeled cart and occasionally used a boat to journey by water.This way or that, he created numerous drawings and studies in oils during this period and, back in Weimar, these materials served him as preparatory studies for larger painted versions.

In 1846 he created the picture “Rocks in the Surf”, which brilliantly presents the scene of nature’s infinite contest, its eternal test of strength:wind-whipped waves break fiercely against a group of rocks surging up out of the sea.Through his selection of an upward perspective and the brilliant play of light and shadow, the situation is presented in a particularly thrilling manner. It is only upon second glance that a little sailing ship emerges at the back right of the picture, struggling mightily in the storm that has whipped up.The relatively tiny ship allows us to sense the monumentality of the group of rocks, whose actual location can be identified along the west coast, north of Stavanger, on the southern tip of Karmøy.

The painting quickly entered the collection of the important Erfurt textile manufacturer Ferdinand Lucius and has been a part of the Kunst der Westküste Collection since 2008.An almost identical motif also exists in a larger painted version now owned by the Weimar Classics Foundation.