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Ole Peter Hansen Balling (13 April 1823 – 1 May 1906) was a Norwegian artist. Balling is most commonly associated with his portraits, several of which are featured in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D. C. [1]

Grant and his Generals (1865) by Ole Peter Hansen Balling. National Portrait Gallery



Born in Christiana (now Oslo), Balling was a student of Norwegian artist Ferdinand Jonas Gjøs (1790–1852) and trained under Danish decorative painter Jacob Emilius Wunderlich (1809–1892). He was a student at art academies both in Berlin and Copenhagen and for a time studied with Thomas Couture in Paris.[2]

He emigrated to the United States in 1856, where he lived until 1874. He commanded the 145th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. Balling painted portraits of several Union Army generals including Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan, John Sedgwick and James S. Wadsworth. Additionally he created portraits of prominent American statesmen including presidents Chester Arthur and James Garfield.[3][4]

In 1874, Balling returned to Norway to operate a painter workshop in Horten, at the time the site of Karljohansvern, the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy. Here he painted portraits of several Norwegian naval officers. Additionally he completed portraits of members of the Royal Bernadotte family including Kings Charles XIV John of Sweden, Oscar I of Sweden, Charles XV of Sweden and Oscar II of Sweden.[5][6] [7] [8]




Other sourcesEdit

  • Carr, Carolyn Kinder; Ellen G. Miles (2001) A Brush with History : Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution) ISBN 978-1584650805
  • Holzer, Harold; Mark E. Neely Jr, (2000) The Union Image: Popular Prints of the Civil War North (The University of North Carolina Press.) ISBN 978-0807825105
  • Lewis, R. W. B. ; Nancy Lewis (2001) American Characters: Selections from the National Portrait Gallery (Yale University Press, 1999) ISBN 978-0300078954

Related ReadingEdit

  • Bricka, Carl Frederik (2001) Dansk biografisk lexikon, tillige omfattende Norge for tidsrummet 1537 – 1814: Bind 7 (Adamant Media Corporation) ISBN 978-0543730701 (In Danish)

External linksEdit