A Summer Evening by Kallsjön

Helmer Osslundundated

Nationalmuseum Sweden

Nationalmuseum Sweden

Helmer Osslund’s sensitive eye for nature’s colours is especially pronounced in his paintings that specifically portray the seasons. In Sommarafton vid Kallsjön the evening sun casts a subtle pink tone on the landscape, making the snow part of summer instead of a residue of winter. The portrayal appears intentionally subdued and, together with the tranquil water surface, gives the scene a peaceful quality that successfully conveys the magic of Nordic summer nights.

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  • Title: A Summer Evening by Kallsjön
  • Creator: Helmer Osslund
  • Date Created: undated
  • Title in Swedish: Sommarafton vid Kallsjön
  • Signature: HELMER OSSLUND
  • Physical Dimensions: w815 x h615 cm (without frame)
  • Artist Information: Like several other Swedish artists, Helmer Osslund was to claim a particular part of his native country as his special artistic territory. His choice fell on the vast region of Norrland, at that time the least explored area of Sweden. Here, his art developed from Realism to a decorative Expressionism. He built up landscapes from large, coherent areas of pure, strong colour in a flat, decorative style. Osslund began his artistic career as decorator at the Gustavsberg porelain factory. Following a study visit to Paris and London, however, he turned his hand to painting. In the autumn of 1893 he gave up his job and left Sweden for Paris and Académie Colarossi. In Paris, like several other Scandinavians, he also became a pupil of Paul Gauguin for a time in 1894. The latter had a lasting influence on Osslund’s art, and from this point on the clearly outlined areas of pure colour favoured by Synthetism became a feature of his landscape painting. Osslund returned to Sweden in 1898 and headed north in 1899. Over the ensuing years he found his subjects in the province of Hälsingland and areas aroung the Ljungan and Indalsälven rivers. Artistically he remained faithful to northern Sweden, extending his territory from 1905 on to include Swedish Lapland. Osslund produced a very large number of landscapes of a personal character, all of them depicting the magnificent scenery of the north. His paintings are often small and done on this greaseproof paper, which was cheap and easy to carry on his long summer treks in the mountains. While actually working on them, he attached the paper to a piece of cardboard, and for larger pictures he joined several sheets together. Osslund did not achieve his public breakthrough until 1909, and was plagued by financial worries all his life.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Nationalmuseum, Nationalmuseum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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