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Portrait of Ole Bull

Painted by James Reeve Stuart (1834-1915).
Oil on canvas, 1890.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object #1942.188.
WHI 2556

PORTRAIT PAINTING

Portrait of Ole Bull

Ole Borneman Bull (1810-1880) was a successful concert violinist in Europe before he visited the United States in 1843. Bull returned to America in 1852 and made his first concert appearance in Wisconsin a year later.

For a number of years he gave concerts throughout the country. In 1868 he returned to Wisconsin and met Sara Thorp of Madison. They married two years later and for several years the Bulls resided in Madison in a Thorp family mansion.

During his time in Madison, Bull became a popular symbol of Norwegian culture. He associated himself with a group of devotees of Scandinavian culture that greatly influenced the development of the University of Wisconsin's Scandinavian department and made Madison a center for the study of Norse culture.

Ill in health and worn out from frequent appearances, Bull returned to Norway with his wife in 1880 and died a few months later. Today, Ole Bull is a Norwegian folk hero and his home in Norway is a popular museum.

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Ole Bull Comes
to Wisconsin

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Ole Bull Comes
to Wisconsin

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Reading the
Visual Record

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Reading the
Visual Record

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Following a Hunch

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Following a Hunch

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Transplanted Artist

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Transplanted Artist

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