Carl Larsson – Swedish painter and interior designer
About Carl Larsson:
– Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter and interior designer in the late 19th century, early 20th century.
– Larsson was admitted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts at the age of 13 and by age of 16 he gained recognition for his drawing talents. Larsson worked for a few newspapers as a caricaturist and as an illustrator for books and magazines. Larsson moved to Paris in 1877 where he met his future wife, Karin (also an artist) at a Scandinavian artist colony just outside Paris.
– Carl Larsson and his wife had eight children.
– Larsson’s family became his inspiration – he painted many family scenes from the kids playing dress-up to family picnics.
– In 1909 a German publisher created a book of Larsson’s drawings, which became one of the publishers bestsellers and helped to increase interest in Larsson’s work.
– Carl Larsson also created many murals for public buildings and schools.
– Midvinterblot – one of the murals in the main hall of the central staircase in the Nationalmuseum was completed in 1915 and is actually a very controversial painting. The painting is based on a Norse mythology of the Swedish king Domalde who sacrificed himself in order to prevent a famine. Larsson considered the work to be one of his best. Critics thought the painting might have political undertones or lacked historical authenticity and therefore it wasn’t until 1997 that the painting was finally accepted and installed in the museum! (The photo above is of one of the murals in the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden where you can see some of his paintings as well).
– You can visit Carl Larsson’se house in Sundborn, which is now a museum. The town is quite a distance from Stockholm however, and not a feasible day trip from the city (as I found out). So my next trip to Stockholm will surely include a visit to his house! For the link to the Carl Larsson house museum in Sundborn click here.
– Carl Larsson’s work is very detailed and rich in color and it shows Swedish traditions from the clothes to the design and customs (such as Christmas celebrations with the girls wearing the wreaths with candles on their heads). Larsson painted a lot of scenes of his family in their home, so you see traditional Swedish painting and architecture (many of the rooms were designed by Larsson himself).