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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 20th century: Mountain Blossoms, Volda
Mountain Blossoms, Volda

Mountain Blossoms, Volda
about 1936-37
William H. Johnson
oil on burlap
25 x 29 in. (63.5 x 73.7 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation

William H. Johnson painted several images of fruit trees against dramatic mountain backdrops on his trips through Norway. He captured the apple blossoms in Volda, then traveled to Hardangerfjord, an area known for its cherry, apple, plum, and pear orchards (Powell, Homecoming: The Art and Life of William H. Johnson, 1991). Here, the bright whites and reds of the flowers stand out vividly against the green of new leaves and darker mountain shadows, emphasizing the dazzling effect of spring in the cold northern landscape.

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