Arts and Gardens

Vastun waterfall

Knud Knudsen’s landscape photographs belong to the best of the early Norwegian photographic art. They were taken for sale to tourists. In this picture of the Vastun waterfall, the cascading water melds into a white blanket, in sharp contrast to the rough, dark mountains.

Knud Knudsen: Vastunsfossen, 1871/75.
Knud Knudsen: Vastunsfossen, 1871/75.
Morten Heiselberg

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The mountain, which rises above the top of the picture in the left edge, gradually descends towards the right and opens onto the bright sky. Diagonally in the picture, it nearly mirrors the shape of the waterfall. The medium-sized rocks jutting up above the surface of the water find a resonance in slim, gray clouds that disturb the smoothness of the sky.

The waterfall resembles a dense fog. The water turns into thin particles as it continually hits new obstacles in its fierce journey down towards the valley floor. The contrast between solid rock and water in motion is successfully highlighted in the picture.

Knud Knudsen (1832-) is considered one of the greatest among Norway's early landscape photographers. He opened his photo studio in Bergen in 1864, and traveled around Norway along the tourist routes. It is largely thanks to Knudsen that the Western landscape is considered the typical Norwegian landscape.