Carl Larsson Carl Larsson (1853 –1919) was a Swedish painter, illustrator and designer. His many paintings include oils, watercolours, and frescoes. Larsson also drew several sequential picture stories, thus being one of Swedish comic creators.Larsson was born on May 28, 1853 in Gamla Stan, the old townin Stockholm.
His parents were extremely poor, and his childhood was not happy. When he was 13 years old, his teacher persuaded him to apply for Principskolan, the preparatory department of the Royal Academy of Arts, and he was admitted.In 1869, at the age of sixteen, he was promoted to the "antique school" of the Academy. There, Larsson gained confidence, and even became a central figure in the Academy’s life.
Larsson earned his first medal in nude drawing. In the meantime, he wasworking as a caricaturist for the humorous paper Kasper and as graphicartist for the newspaper Ny Illustrerad Tidning.After several years working as an illustrator,Larsson moved to Paris in 1877, where heworked with no success. Along with otherSwedish artists, Larsson cut himself off fromthe radical new movements.He settled down with his Swedish colleagues in 1882 in Grez-sur-Loing, aScandinavian artists colony outside Paris. It was there that he met KarinBergöö, who soon became his wife. This was to be a turning point inLarssons life. In Grez, Larsson painted some of his most important works,now in watercolour, very different technique from what he had previouslyemployed.
Carl and Karin Larsson had eight children; they became Larssons favouritemodels. Many of his watercolours portrait her wife and children: Suzanne,Pontus, Lisbeth, Brita, Kersti and Esbjörn .given a small In 1888 they were offered a house, Little Hyttnäs,. Carl and Karin decorated and furnished this house according to their particular artistic tasteThis house has become one of the most famous artists homes in the world,transmitting the artistic taste of its creators and making it a major line inSwedish interior design. The descendants of Carl and Karin Larsson now ownthis house and keep it open.
Larssons popularity increased withthe development of colourreproduction technology in the1890s, when a book containing fullcolour reproductions of hiswatercolours was published inSweden, ´A Home´.Using a much improved tecnhique,the German publisher Langewiesche,in 1909, offered a still better choiceof watercolours, drawings and text byCarl Larsson. Titled Das Haus in derSonne (The House in the Sun), thebook immediately became one of theGerman best-sellers – 40 000 copiessold in three months, and more than40 print runs produced up to 2001.
His last monumental work, Midvinterblot (Midwinter Sacrifice), a large oil paintingcompleted in 1915, was commissioned for a wall in the National Museum inStockholm. The fresco depicts the blót (sacrifice) of King Domalde at the Temple ofUppsala, carried out at Midwinter - a central event of the pre-Christian Norsemythology.The Swedish king Domalde. sacrificed in order to avert a famine.
Carl Larsson considered this his finest work .Midvinterblot is now displayed inside the Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts.