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Nymph and Fauns, Julius Kronberg’s breakthrough work, was one of the most popular paintings in Sweden in the 1870s. Kronberg had studied in Düsseldorf and Munich and particularly admired the art of Austrian historical painter Hans Makart. Makart’s love of using colour and sumptuous props to bold effect is clearly reflected in Kronberg’s depiction of the hunting nymph secretly being watched by two fauns.

The painting had been shown in Munich to great acclaim in 1875, but when it was shown in Stockholm in 1876, it caused a sensation. Some felt the subject was far too sexually provocative. Other critics saw the painting as an absolute masterpiece that immediately had to be acquired by Nationalmuseum. One of the painting’s greatest admirers was a young August Strindberg, who at that time earned a living as an art critic. In the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, he wrote a lyrical review hailing Kronberg as a “triumphant artist”. Strindberg felt that the Munich School that Kronberg represented stood for a modern style of painting where effects of colour and light were the main feature, while the subject was of subordinate importance.

Details

  • Title: Nymph and Fauns
  • Creator: Julius Kronberg
  • Date Created: 1875
  • Title in Swedish: Jaktnymf och fauner
  • Signature: Julius Kronberg. 1875.
  • Physical Dimensions: w1300 x h2690 cm (without frame)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Nationalmuseum, Nationalmuseum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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