Carl Larsson 28 May 1853 - 22 January 1919: Swedish Painter.
The Swedish artist Carl Larsson was born in the old town in Stockholm, on May 28, 1853. His parents were extremely poor and his childhood sad and miserable. However, at the age of thirteen his teacher at the school for poor children urged him to seek entry into the principskola of the Stockholm Academy of Fine Arts where he also got accepted. During his first years at the principskola he felt socially inferior, confused and shy. In 1869, sixteen years old, he was promoted to the antique school of the same academy. There Carl Larsson became more sure of him self and he even became a central figure in student life.
After several years as an illustrator of books, magazines and newspapers Carl Larsson also spent several rather frustrating years in Paris as a hardworking artist without any success.
The turning point in Carl LarssonÂ´s life came in 1882 when in Grez, a Scandinavian artist colony outside Paris, he met Karin Bergöö (1859-1928), who would soon be his wife. One could almost call it a metamorphosis in Carl LarssonÂ´s life. In Grez Carl Larsson painted some of his most important works - now in water-colours and very different from the more pretentious oilpainting technique.
Carl and Karin Larsson reared eight children and Karin and the children became Carl LarssonÂ´s favourite models and many of those watercolours are now loved and cherished all over the world.
In 1888 the young family was given a little house, named "Lilla Hyttní¤s" in Sundborn, by KarinÂ´s father Adolf Bergöö. Carl and Karin formed and furnished this house according to their own very special artistic taste and also the needs of their growing family.
Through Carl LarssonÂ´s paintings and his books this house has become one of the most famous artist-homes in the world. The descendants of Carl and Karin Larsson now own this house and they are happy to be able to keep the house open for tourists each summer from May until October.
Carl Larsson considered his monumental works, for instance the frescos in schools, museums and other public buildings, to be his most important works. His last monumental work Midwinter Sacrifice signed in 1915 and intended for the last wall in the staircase of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm - which had not yet been decorated by Carl Larsson - was refused by the board of the Nationalmuseum. In his memoirs - published after Carl Larssons death - he declared his bitterness and disappointment with this rebuff against the painting he himself considered to crown his work as an artist. In his memoirs Jag Carl Larsson wrote:"The fate of Midwinter Sacrifice broke me ! This I admit with a dark anger. And still, it was probably the best thing that could happen, for now my intuition tells me -again- that for all its weakness, this painting will be honoured with a far better place after my death."
By Ulwa Neergaard.
P.S. More than 350 Larssons paintings and watercolours were sold at the auctions. Some watercolours fetched more than half a million US dollars. A.SH.