Prince Eugene (1865 – 1947)was an artist and an art-collector. At his death, he bequeathed his beautiful palace, collection, gallery, gardens, and atelier to the Swedish state. Waldemarsudde is situated in the Royal Park, overlooking the huge lake, Mälaren. Regularly, a new exhibition is shown there.
During this spring/summer season 2023, it’s the turn of four, too long forgotten women artists, namely: Ester Almqvist, Anna Boberg, Ellen Trotzig and Charlotte Wahlström to be shown. The exhibition concentrates on the period from 1890 to 1920. Swedish landscape painting was at its peak during that time. These artists became famous both nationally and internationally but, have sadly since been overlooked. Interesting brush strokes, choice of motives and influences from artists such as Gauguin, van Gogh and Matisse are noticeable in their works.
I was immediately drawn to Anna Boberg’s (1864 – 1934) painting from Lofoten, in Northern Norway. The place is grandiose, wild and far away from civilization. She paints the snowy mountains in intriguing colors that go from violet, to green and pink. I’m wondering if it’s the works of art themselves or her adventurous life that attracts me the most. I guess a bit of both. Her painting “Northern lights”, in the symbolists’ spirit, made her famous even in the chic Parisian salons. Some of her works have a transcendental touch to them.
Charlotte Wahlström (1849 – 1924) painted in a poetic style, with lush landscapes, blooming fruit trees and drifting clouds over soft hills – not unlike an English countryside. There isn’t a person in sight in her dreamlike settings. The works are the mark of her sensitive and romantic personality. However, she’s also known for her descriptions of Stockholm night skies. Charlotte was one of the most appreciated landscape’s painters of her time. She’s finally been reinstated among the grandest!
Ester Almqvist’s (1869 – 1934) art focuses on everyday life. She paints with short brush strokes, side by side, much in the style of Van Gogh. She’s not interested in being realistic but preferred the post-impressionist way. From rather dark and subtle colors, she developed her pallet to include clear yellow, red, and blue tones. During her trips to Italy and France, she started to paint workers lives. She went from being a landscape painter to describing laborers, whether out in the fields, picking potatoes, or working in cities.
She’s contrasting with Ellen Trotzig (1878 – 1959) who was an introvert and a mystic. Even her paintings of individuals are full of symbols – more like in a saga than in real life. Her paintings of skies with dark clouds lurking, with a few piercing sunrays, painted with diagonal, long strokes, allure to a godly presence.
If in Stockholm, don’t miss this wonderful palace with its gorgeous flower ornaments, nice lunch restaurant, gardens, and exhibition hall all at once! You’ll discover another world, hidden in the middle of town.
Anne Edelstam, Stockholm
Kvinnliga Pionjärer, Visionära Landskap/
Women pioneers, visionary landscapes
Ester Almqvist, Anna Boberg, Ellen Trotzig, Charlotte Wahlström
Prins Eugene, Waldemarsudde
4 March – 20 August 2023