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Artists' biographies : Carl Olof LARSSON

Date of birth: 1853

Date of death: 1919

Nationality : Carl Olof  LARSSON

Olaf Carl Larsson, born May 28, 1853 in Stockholm and died January 22, 1919 at Sundborn, near Falun, is a Swedish artist, mainly designer and illustrator, painter and watercolorist, painter and tapestry cartoon mural, muralist and interior decorator. Works by these picturesque and varied, this painter of modest extraction, Francophile, could support his family of his labor, keep a fierce independence of thought and affirm values ​​against dogmatism sometimes contrarian academic of his time while becoming paradoxically idyllic painter of the Swedish bourgeoisie. He was also known and popular in Germany. Born into a farming family in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town, Carl Larsson was a fairly unhappy childhood. At age 13, he is in a school for poor children when his teacher urges him to apply for the principskola of the Royal Academy of Arts of Sweden, where he finally admitted. To support herself, it is during the weekends and sometimes nights retoucher of photographs in 1866 and after 1871 designer of the journal Kasper. During his first years in this prestigious institution, it is uncomfortable, being very shy and feeling inferior to his fellow citizens. In 1869, at 16, he spends most prestigious class in the same academy, where he gains confidence in himself, even becoming involved in student life. Become a history painter, he received a gold medal for his contributions to the history of Sweden. With these, a travel grant enabled him to win in Paris 1876/1877 and spend a few months with the Barbizon school. It was during this first stay in Paris in 1876 he discovered the Norse settlement established in Grez-sur-Loing, near Fontainebleau, a community of artists who lives with wives and children. He visits them occasionally and began painting watercolors on anecdotal simple joys of family life outdoors. While continuing to work as an illustrator of books or newspapers as he has assiduously for many years, he moved to Paris from 1880 to 1885. Her hard work of academic painter is not successful, but the Swedish illustrator learns and discovers fascination with greed and all technical French performers, often adapted or close to that of Anglo-Saxon world. Conformist ideas to reinforce contact Swedish painter Ernst Josephson and designers and craftsmen of the illustration Paris. Asked in 1882 by the French press, the promising young watercolorist answers frankly: "I am Swedish and - brace yourself - Socialist. I want to share, I want to rejoice, not a single person, but everyone. " His commitment in no way appears dogmatic and even less dependent on an ideological line, it seems close to anarcho-socialism of the popular arts and the better educated, but the confession is rare and singular at the time. In 1882, in the artist community in Grez-sur-Loing, he regularly visits since 1880, he met a Swedish girl Karin Bergöö (1859-1928) who became his model and his wife in 1883 during a brief return to Sweden. This period is a turning point in the life of the artist Larsson, who painted some of his most important works in Grez, leaving the oil painting to watercolors to achieve rural subjects and colors. These are also two watercolors, titled The Pumpkin The Hoarfrost, medalists at the Salons of French Artists who bring him great success in Paris and Berlin. Present in the German capital, the poet Jules Laforgue salutes a master of the Enlightenment.

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