Peder Balke

"The day after my arrival at Vardø, I went for a walk on the island in order to observe the sea which broke against the cliffs after the storm which raged the previous day. I will never forget the fantastic sight which bestowed itself upon my inquisitive nature: I had sat down upon a plateau, which was more than 100 ft above sea level, when I actually thought that I had to hold on to the rocks when the so-called "backwash" broke against the mountain wall and, in a thunderous voice which drowned all else, rolled out to sea, once again, only to repeat the same futile but stormy dash against the wall which stood there - a wall made firm as a rock by the ferocious and eternally roaring waves of the Arctic Ocean."

Peder Balke: Fyr på den norske kyst, ca. 1855. 58,5 x 70,5 cm.
National Gallery, Oslo.

   © University Library of Tromsø - 1999.
The Northern Lights Route is part of The Council of Europe Cultural Routes. The Cultural Routes are an invitation to Europeans to wander the paths and explore the places where the unity and diversity of our European identity were forged.