Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B
knally

Scandinavian Artists

I discovered a new Scandinavian artist that I liked at the weekend, so I thought I'd put together a little collection of links to those I already like. (Clicking on the smaller pictures among the notes will often take you to a larger version.)


Carl Larsson

The first is the most well known outside of Scandinavia, and is the Swedish artist Carl Larsson. fj_warren was the person who introduced me to his work, and I was lucky to see the exhibition of his work at the Victoria and Albert in 1997. Since I'm also interested in embroidery, I was pleased to see they also had some of the textiles and hangings created by his wife Karin. His clean and slightly stylised watercolours, like the one here, are what he is most well known for, but I also saw his larger work 'Midwinter Sacrifice' when I visited Stockholm a couple of years ago.
A website where you can see more if his works is Carl Larsson


Anders Zorn

This is my personal favourite among the Swedish artists, although he's little known nowadays, and then mostly for his nudes. (Which never go out of fashion!)
I first discovered him almost by accident when I bought a pack of Art notecards for writing to people, and one of them was 'The Thornbush' which I thought had an exquisite depiction of light among trees. Since then I've tracked down more of his paintings and etchings in various places. I have a print from a book of a picture he painted of a fisherman in St. Ives. He visited there in the early 1890s, and I was pleased to find that little connection. When I visited Boston I went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum which has a couple of his paintings (including Omnibus which again shows his skill with painting light) since Mrs Stewart was one of his most enthusiastic patrons. There is also a great collection of his etchings, which show of his wonderful technique in portraiture.

When I visited Stockholm it luckily coincided with an exhibition of his etchings in the National Museum, and I also went to visit The Thielska Gallery which has a couple of his paintings, but which is better known for its Edvard Munch collection. This led to a rather amusing moment where I was waiting at the bus stop after visiting the gallery, and two elderly ladies, seeing my English guidebook, asked me if I had come to see the Munch. They were totally bemused that I'd come all that way to see the Zorn pictures, and probably thought me slightly eccentric! The main website for : Anders Zorn

Bruno Liljefors
Winter Hare
It's fairly difficult to find much about this artist on the Internet, but if you've ever had a Christmas card showing a snow scene with hare, that was probably by him. Apart from the one shown here which I saw at the Thielska Gallery, I also saw another variation on this theme at the Nature in Art Museum near Gloucester. Although I don't think he kept strictly to wildlife painting, those pictures of his that I have seen have been of animals and birds, and he is a marvellous wildlife artist. Not just in the accuracy of his drawings but in the way he composes his canvases. The following pair of images are a good example of this (can't get anything bigger I'm afraid).



Otto Frello

This is the one I've just discovered, he's a modern Danish Artist whose paintings are surreal and fantastical, but also lovely and fascinating to look at. Here is Otto Frello's web site, and clicking on Malerier shows a collection of his paintings. The painting on the home page is 'The Old Town' and portrays Copenhagen with time overlapping - you can find new things in it every time you look.

He's surreal not only in his technique but in his commentary on life and society. For example, in a picture entitled 'A Little Evening Stroll' at first glance it appears to be a rich couple showing disdain for the poor. But the poor are in rich amber tones, and nearly every face is smiling, while the couple appear to be walking on a path made of rubbish.


My favourite of his pictures is called 'Det Sorte Rum' which I think translates to something like 'The Black Room'. I have subtitled it in my own mind as 'The Flower seeks the Vase' since it portrays flowers reaching from the light into a darkened room where a beautiful vase is displayed. The light and movement from the window is lovely, and I think if you had the space and the right setting it would be possible to do a marvellous flower arrangement inspired by this.



Serendipity! While hunting about for images for this piece I found this exhibition A Mirror of Nature which not only will be touring several European countries, but will be going to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for any Minnesota people reading this!
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