Catharine Hermine Kølle

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Catharine Hermine Kølle (29 February 1788 – 27 August 1859) was a Norwegian adventurer, writer and painter. [1]

Catharine Kølle was born at Snarøya in the parish of Bærum in Akershus. She was one of three daughters of Christian Kølle (1736–1814) and Elisabeth Monrad (1758–1829). Her father was a language teacher and theologian. In 1803 the family moved to Kopervik on the island of Karmøy in the county of Rogaland, Norway. In 1807 the family moved to Holmen in Ulvik in the district of Hardanger, which became the permanent basis for her life. She received the customary education of young ladies from professional families. She later taught German and French, and some Latin and Italian at a small learning institution which had been founded by her father. Her family lived mostly of fruit growing and farming.

She is known principally as a hiker and artist, as well as for her travel journals. She twice traveled by foot to Italy, including trips to Venice in 1841 and Genoa in 1858. She chronicled her travels in journals totaling over 400 pages which provided documentary material about the places she visited. She also painted at least 251 watercolor paintings. The total list of works contains not only scenes from places she has visited. She also painted the images in the travel descriptions from inaccessible destinations including North America, Guinea, Istanbul, Sri Lanka and Jakarta. She also painted biblical and mythological scenes. Her works are painted in bright, bold colors. They have a naive expression, with accuracy in description of the topography and architecture.[2]


  1. ^ Tore Kirkholt. "Catharine Hermine Kølle". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ Glenny Alfsen. "Catharine Kølle". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved August 15, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hansen, Jan E. (1991). Catharina Kølle: vår første vandrerske. Oslo: Stenersen. ISBN 82-7201-174-3. 
  • Ryall, Anka; Veiteberg, Jorunn (1991). En kvinnelig oppdagelsesreisende i det unge Norge: Catharine Hermine Kølle. Oslo: Pax. ISBN 82-530-1524-0.