Eugène Jansson’s later paintings are populated mainly by nude, muscular men in gymnasiums or, as in this picture, at public baths. His paintings are regarded as typical of what was called vitalism, a movement focusing on health and the human body, which developed in reaction to industrialism and its consequences. Scenes in the vitalist spirit were often set in summer sunshine, where the warmth makes nudity appear more natural. This subject has also been interpreted in light of the artist’s homosexuality.


  • Title: Selfportrait
  • Creator: Eugène Jansson
  • Creator Lifespan: 1862/1915
  • Creator Nationality: Swedish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Stockholm
  • Creator Birth Place: Stockholm
  • Date Created: 1910
  • Title in Swedish: Självporträtt
  • Signature: Eugène Jansson 1910
  • Physical Dimensions: w1100 x h2030 cm (without frame)
  • Artist Information: Eugène Jansson came from a modest background as the son of a caretaker. His artistic education was somewhat sporadic, including periods at Edvard Perséus’ school of painting and, in 1881-82, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Jansson’s life was fairly uneventful; he remained largely self-taught as a painter, and only travelled outside Sweden later in life. In human terms he was something of a recluse, partly owing to hearing impairment brought on by illness. However, he developed a good report with the leading radicals who were opposed to the Academy, and was a member of the Artists’ Association (Konstnärsförbundet). Artistically, Jansson was one of the pioneers of twilight painting, which he imbued with a deeply personal character, dominated by blues. In 1891 he had moved to the Södermalm district of Stockholm, where he enjoyed a magnificent view of the city from his home. Here, over a period of more than ten years, he painted a series of grand panoramas of the capital at dusk and at dawn. His paintings have a strong visionary character and come across as syntheses of a complex play of color and light. This can be attributed to the fact that Jansson did not paint studies from nature, but first observed his subject over an extended period of time and then painted it in one go, without even sketching it out on the canvas.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Nationalmuseum, Nationalmuseum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps