Sweden Arts Part II

According to Picktrue, the first half of the 19th century marks a period of decline for Swedish art. The court and the aristocracy no longer exercised patronage as before, nor had the bourgeoisie yet achieved a social position such as to be able to create a new tradition. Talented artists died young or had to give in to mediocre ones. Criticism and encouragement were missing. The sculptor Johan Nicolas Byström, who had long resided in Rome and whose smooth marble goddesses represent the worst aspect of the classical current, enjoyed wide favor. Bengt Erland Fogelberg reveals a national and historical trend in his statues of Nordic divinities and kings Gustav II Adolfo and Charles XIV John. Among the painters the classical address is represented by the portraitist Per Krafft the Younger, Louis David’s pupil, the romantic one by the landscape painter Carl Johan Fahlcrantz. Some painters went to Italy; they painted pictures with scenes from Italian popular life and landscapes of the surroundings of Rome; we mention among these GW Palm, CG Plageman, Egron Lundgren and CG Wahlbom. Starting from the middle of the 19th century, a more fruitful period began in Swedish art, intensely favored by the Crown Prince Charles, later King Charles XV. Most of the painters went to Düsseldorf appropriating the technical and stylistic peculiarities of this school. Quite a few went to Paris to study with Thomas Couture. The result was a mixture of elements derived from the Düsseldorf school and the Couture school. Excellent figure painter is Johan Fredrik Höckert, who in his large picture The fire of the castle appalesa dazzling complexion and dramatic excitement of the affections. A singular personality among painters around 1850 is the landscape painter Simon Marcus Larsson, who paints waterfalls and sea storms with burning ships in bright and warm colors. Of the opposite temperament is Edward Bergh, who loves to reproduce calm lakes with reflections of light and serene beech woods. Between 1870 and 1880 a kind of exodus of Swedish artists took place in Paris where they assimilated the trends then in vogue: for example, the style of Bastien Lepage. The works of these hard-working Swedish artists in Paris show, at first, more taste and technical skill than original characters. However, the clearly defined artistic personalities of some young painters soon emerge, such as the landscape painters Karl Nordström and Nils Kreuger, the portrait painter Richard Bergh (son of the landscape painter Edward Bergh), the animal rights activist Bruno Liljefors, the painter and engraver Anders Zorn. The most singular personality at that time was Ernst Josephson, a lively colourist with romantic tendencies, convinced of the need to renew Swedish art. In 1890-1900, Swedish painting took a romantic direction, favoring the time of twilight and night in landscape painting. Some other notable landscape painters were added, such as Prince Eugene, son of King Oscar II, and Eugen Jansson. This movement had its center in the Association of Artists (In 1890-1900, Swedish painting took a romantic direction, favoring the time of twilight and night in landscape painting. Some other notable landscape painters were added, such as Prince Eugene, son of King Oscar II, and Eugen Jansson. This movement had its center in the Association of Artists (Konstnärsforbundet), headed by Karl Nordström and which included Carl Wilhelmson, an excellent painter of fishermen and peasants, among others. Carl Larsson, also known as the witty storyteller of home life, and Georg Pauli, of manifold activity, worked as coolers in museums, schools and theaters.

From 1909 new trends assert themselves, represented by young followers of Matisse, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Renoir. Some followed the principles of an international decorative style, such as Isaac Grünewald and his wife Sigrid Hjértén; others had their own ideals anchored in national traditions or romantic tendencies, such as Gösta Sandels and Leander Engström, both of whom died young. Artists not linked to specific stylistic directions were, towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Olof Seger Nelson, Ivar Arosenius, and Albert Engström, a brilliant humorous designer, still active today. In the painting of the 1920-30s, influences derived from impressionism and romanticism crossed paths.

In the sculpture of the last quarter of the century. XIX above all two artists emerge: John Börjesond, who executed a series of statues, realistically conceived, representing illustrious men of Swedish history; and Per Hasselberg, author of delicately modeled nudes. At the beginning of the century XX dominates the flexible and imaginative personality of Carl Milles who executed fountains, statues and monuments for numerous cities. With him competed Christian Eriksson and Carl Eldh, who continued the traditions of the end of the century. XIX; and Ivar Johnsson who sought to create a movement of classical severity in conscious contrast with the baroque tendencies of the Milles.

The most important architect about the middle of the century. XIX was FW Scholander, who, due to lack of financial resources, was forced to use poor construction materials. The resounding success that IG Clason had in the 1880s was due to the fact that he used local stones as a construction material and that he borrowed elements from the French Renaissance architecture that were found in Swedish buildings of the century. XVI. Ferdinand Boberg, towards the end of the century. XIX, abandoned the hybrid style composed of elements coming from all over, which was used then, to follow a naturalistic ornamentation. Carl Westman, LI Wahlman and Ragnar Östberg derived building forms and materials from Swedish architecture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. R. Östberg built, skilfully exploiting its position on the shores of Lake Mälar, the Stockholm City Hall, completed in 1923, has a rather personal, if also eclectic, character. This monument closes a period that has now passed. Younger Swedish architects are committed and passionate advocates of the rational style.

Sweden Arts 2