In the 1829 painting Norwegian Mountain Scenery at Slidrefjord the viewer’s gaze moves past a rock massif to a bay lined by a towering mountain range. In the foreground a path runs along the rugged slope, on which a man with a tall staff walks next to a heavily laden horse. A small column of rising smoke offers another hint at human presence in the untouched mountain landscape. The surfaces of the rocks and the sparse high mountain plants are rendered in great detail. Even in the distance we can clearly see the tree tops on the sloping bank and a mountain stream cascading from the tallest mountain peak.
In Hamburg, Morgenstern initially learned to create landscape backdrops and panoramas, thereby training his illusionistic skills. Subsequently, he turned to landscape painting and studied at the academy in Copenhagen. The work described here was created on the basis of nature studies during an 1827 visit to Norway. Christian Morgenstern was among the first artists who, in the early nineteenth century, set out for Norway, thereby turning away from the previously important study of Italian art and the Italian landscape.