The violent impressions from a trip in Nordland and Finnmark in 1832 he processed in the following years, with a picturesque climax in the 1860s, in visionary natural scenery with a strong dramatic nerve and executed in a limited color scale with a technical virtuosity of distinctive decorative character. Of importance was a stay in Dresden in 1836 and in 1843–1844 with J. C. Dahl. He also visited St. Petersburg (1841) and stayed in Paris in 1846–1847, where King Louis Philip ordered 30 northern Norwegian motifs from him to Versailles. However, the February Revolution prevented the order.
After a visit to London, he settled in Christiania in 1850 and eventually also took up social work. All in 1842, he had taken the initiative to get the Storting to grant artist scholarships. At the workers' meeting (Lilletinget) in 1851, he proposed a pension scheme from the age of 55 for all wage workers and civil servants, but the Storting rejected the proposal both then and in 1869. He also worked hard for the development of the area around Industrigata in Christiania, Balkeby.