Passing in Bergen craft learning, in 1811 Dahl went to Copenhagen, where he entered the Academy of fine arts. The young artist proved himself in a series of Danish landscapes (1814). Settled in Dresden in 1818, he became a member of the Dresden Academy of fine arts (1820) and in 1824, and her Professor. During your stay in Italy (1820-1821) Dahl made many sketches from nature. In 1826 the painter returns home and discovers the East Norway and its mountains. So he becomes a Creator of a new style and a tutor of the whole galaxy of young artists, among whom was Thomas Fearnley.
He studied with Th.G. Muller in Bergen (CA. 1808). From 1811 he studied at the Academy of fine arts in Copenhagen.
From 1817 he taught in the class picture.
Since 1818 he lived in Dresden.
There in 1818 he met with K. D. Frederick, which has had its influence on creativity.
Experienced the influence of German romanticism. In the summer months often came to Norway. From 1820 he worked in Naples. Fascinated by landscape, painted scenes of the eruption of Vesuvius, as Friedrich, depicting in the foreground human figures. Lived and worked in the Villa of the crown Prince of Quisisana Monte Sant'angelo and in the surroundings of the city. Dahl a lot of drawings and watercolors with views of the Villa and terraces. The study of Dutch painting and the Northern "italianists" has led to the emergence of tonal colour in the artist's landscapes. In 1826, 1834, 1839, 1844, 1850, he returned to Norway. From 1836, he lectured at the Academy of arts of Dresden.
In 1818, received a special scholarship from the Danish Prince Frederick, arrived in Saxony and settles in Dresden. Here he joins artists-romantics, forming a group around Caspar David Friedrich. Soon married Emilia von Block. In the years 1820-1823 makes a trip to Italy, where not so much interested in ancient antiquities, how much is involved in direct observation of nature in this country.Created during this trip numerous sketches later formed the basis of paintings Dahl.
In 1824, returned to Dresden, where in conjunction with the Friedrich receives professorship at the local art Academy. Subsequently makes many trips abroad, especially to her homeland, Norway. Created based on Norwegian experiences, the paintings of Dale are among the best in his heritage. Analyzing used by the dal palette of color combinations, critics believe the artist one of the forerunners of impressionism.
In his work followed the tradition of Dutch landscape painters of the XVII century, in particular Meindert Hobbema and Jacob van Rasdale. Dal wrote mainly mountains, rivers, valleys and lakes of Norway. Work Dahl always panoramic, they subtly conveys the unity of light and air ("Forest landscape", 1820; "View Stalham", 1826). Like painters-romantics, he was often depicted waterfalls (figure "Waterfall near Lohmen", 1820), effects of moonlight (drawing "Landscape with moon", 1824). Also wrote the sea, the boats and ships at sea ("Two ships", 1826). Dal was opposed to the traditional methods of learning and attached great importance to the work from nature. Among important works: "the Eruption of Vesuvius" (1820), "View of Portugal" (1836), "Stalham. Landscape with a rainbow" (1842), "the Copenhagen towers in the evening sky" (CA. 1820), "Before the rain" (1835), "the Birch, growing on the edge of the abyss" (1849).