In Esther Almqvist, we meet a female artist who through her paintings gives us reflections and insights into a fascinating life and destiny. She was an artist who in her own way contributed to the breakthrough of modernism in Sweden. Esther was crippled from birth and her mobility was limited because of a deformed spine. Her disability made ​​it possible to study art instead of helping out at home. First she was a student at Valand Art Academy in Gothenburg 1892-93 and then at Artist League school in Stockholm 1894-95. Among colleagues, she was seen early as talented and already at school her art showed a uniqueness that pointed forward. In the beginning, she followed the national romantic art style with deep shadows and melancholy mood. A longer period of time after graduation, she lived isolated in the countryside with her mother. When the mother died, Esther broke with her old life, and also with the national romantic ideals. In 1913-14, she creates the shimmering lights and life-affirming paintings in the spirit of van Gogh that came to characterize her mature artistry. The majority of her career spent Esther Almqvist in Lund, despite her yearning to travel out into Europe. Her physical condition deteriorates over time and mobility decreases, but the intensity and tension in her paintings is maintained, as if that path provides an outlet for her physical energy. Esther Almqvist challenge herself to move on. Influenced by travels, now in extended periods, she creates more expressionistic paintings with powerful dark contour lines that depict animals and humans in motion. During her life, Esther Almqvist never got no real public appreciation for her art, but four years after her death, in 1938, came the great recognition of the art critics.


  • Title: Old fashioned priest's daughter
  • Date Created: 1890 - 1899
  • Provenance: Legacy of the artist, 1943
  • Physical Dimensions: w51 x h39.3 cm (Complete)
  • Painter: Ester Almqvist
  • Exhibition History: 2011: I yearn so that I can burst - Esther Almqvist, Säfstaholm Castle Vingåker and Regions Kristianstad, Sweden
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Malmö Art Museum, Malmö Art Museum
  • Medium: Gouache on canvas

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