Johan Christian Dahl was an important representative of Nordic landscape painting of the Romantic era. He was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1788. After training as a decorator, he studied from 1811 to 1817 at the academy in Copenhagen, and became a close friend of the German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. In 1818 Dahl travelled to Dresden, where he soon settled. At the invitation of the Danish crown prince, in 1820/1821 he sojourned in Italy, where he devoted himself to the study of nature. While there he witnessed an eruption of Vesuvius; he later captured the impressive natural spectacle in several paintings. In 1824 he was appointed to a professorship at Dresden’s art academy. Beginning in 1826 he repeatedly returned to his Norwegian homeland as an active promoter of its artistic life. He died in Dresden in 1857.