At Home with Carl Larsson
“A home is not dead, but living, and like all living things must obey the laws of nature by constantly changing.” Carl Larsson
Annika Perry from Annika Perry’s Writing Blog, suggested that the Swedish Painter, Carl Larsson, would be an excellent addition to ChasingART’s “Home in Solitude” series. I had never heard of the painter, Carl Larsson and am indebted to Annika for the introduction. He is one of Sweden’s most cherished artists, representing the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 19th century.
Carl Larsson recognized the profound need and longing to have a home, a place to feel safe and loved. His early childhood was difficult and influenced his painting which focused on family life and home, simple and peaceful.
In 1853, Carl Larsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden from “humble beginnings” which is a gentile way of saying extreme poverty. Home was never secure and the threat of being turned out on the street was real. Carl’s mother, who worked long hours as a laundress, was his strongest supporter in those early days.
And then serendipity came knocking. When he was thirteen, a teacher (bless our teachers!) encouraged Carl to apply to the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. At first, he felt out of place because of his poor background, but an overwhelming love for art gave him the confidence to continue and thrive. He won every important art prize during his time at the Academy.
And then there was Paris… but that is another story. What I can tell you is that he met his life partner, Karin Bergöö at Grez-sur-Loing, a Scandinavian artists’ colony outside Paris.
Carl and Karin become a brilliant painting duo, a power couple. Karin is featured in many of his painting which depicts the joy of family life.