Marius Dahlgren

Paintings in Inventory

The younger brother of the better-known painter, Carl Dahlgren, Marius emigrated from Denmark to America in the early 1870s, settling first in San Jose and then moving to Oakland in 1878. His known paintings are rare. Most of them depict interesting vignettes of everyday life in Northern California, especially his “Alameda County Courthouse” in the collection of the Oakland Museum.  Our painting is a charming depiction of two human friends taking it easy while their equine equivalents stand nose to nose nearby. Columns of an opulent house are visible in the upper right corner of the composition, while the barn is a dark presence on its left edge. The artist has emphasized the benevolent nature of the relationships depicted with his harmonious color strategy of warm tones throughout. By 1889 Whistler’s demand that artists create “harmonies” through the use of dominant tones had taken root in California, as is demonstrated by Dahlgren’s charming picture.