Hans Olaf Heyerdahl
Norwegian painter. He was born into an enlightened but conservative family, his father being an engineer, occasional architect and writer of Nordic saga poetry, and he spent his childhood and youth in the rapidly expanding town of Drammen, 40 km from the capital Christiania. In 1873 he was admitted to the Kongelige Tegneskole in Christiania, where he studied under Peder C. Thurmann, a landscape artist trained in Desseldorf. For more advanced training, Heyerdahl was obliged to go abroad, and in 1874 he enrolled at the Munich Akademie. He was encouraged by Professor Ludwig von Lefftz (1845-1910) to give up landscape in favour of history painting and portraits (e.g. the artists Christian Skredsvig, 1876, and Eilif Peterssen, 1877; both Oslo, N.G.). In 1877, under the guidance of Professor Wilhelm Lindenschmit (1829-95), Heyerdahl finished his most inventive and brilliant composition, the Expulsion from the Garden (Oslo, N.G.). Using over life-size figures, set in a barren tempestuous landscape, Heyerdahl skilfully contrasted the youthful rage of Adam with the resigned despair of Eve. This sombre work won him a third prize medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1878.