Study for Friends – Olga Björkegren-Fåhreus och Lisen Bonnier

Hanna Hirsch-Pauli1903

Nationalmuseum Sweden

Nationalmuseum Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

The large group portrait entitled Friends, completed in 1907 depicts Hanna Pauli at a meeting of the Junta, a society founded by the artist Eva Bonnier’s brother Karl-Otto and his wife Lisen where their circle of friends could gather to meet, listen to readings and discuss. Hanna Pauli made a number of studies for Friends, of which two have been acquired by Nationalmuseum. One of them, dated 1903, depicts Lisen Bonnier and the actress Olga Björkegren Fåhræus. The actress is portrayed in the same pose as in the finished work, but Pauli has altered Lisen Bonnier’s portrayal from a semi-profile with her head supported by one hand to an en-face depiction. The other study has no date and depicts the artist Nanna Sohlman Bendixson, bending over her needlework in the rays of the lamp. In the final version Pauli has moved her to a less prominent position to the left of the lamp, perhaps to place more focus on the figure of Ellen Key. To compensate to some extent for the vacuum this leaves, the vase of flowers glimpsed on the right in the study of Olga Björkegren Fåhræus and Lisen Bonnier has been shifted to a position to the right of the lamp. These changes mean that the figure and character of Nanna Bendixsson have been given less prominence. The studies reveal Pauli’s early ideas for Friends and offer further illustration of the long creative process behind one of the key works in the cultural history early twentieth-century Sweden.


  • Title: Study for Friends – Olga Björkegren-Fåhreus och Lisen Bonnier
  • Creator: Hanna Pauli
  • Date Created: 1903
  • Physical Dimensions: 76 x 56 cm

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