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Leif Østby

(b Christiania [now Oslo], Oct 7, 1859; d Lillehammer, Feb 10, 1927).

Norwegian painter . He was descended from a Bohemian family of glassmakers who settled in Norway c. 1750. He studied at Knud Bergslien’s art school (1879–81) and at the same time at the Royal School of Design in Christiania, and in 1883 he was a pupil of Frits Thaulow, who introduced him to plein-air painting. Wentzel paid a short visit to Paris that same year and stayed there again in 1884 as a pupil of William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. In 1888–9 he studied with Alfred Roll and Léon Bonnat at the Académie Colarossi. During this period he painted mainly interiors with figures, the urban middle-class and artisans in their homes, and also artists’ studios. His earliest paintings, for example Breakfast I (1882; Oslo, N.G.), render detail with a meticulousness unsurpassed in Norwegian Naturalism. Wentzel’s work gradually adopted an influence from contemporary French painting, including a more subtle observation of the effects of light and atmosphere on local colour, as in the ...