Carl Larsson (1853-1919) is Sweden's best-loved artist and is known around the world for his paintings of his home and family. At their famous house at Sundborn, in central Sweden, Carl and his wife, Karin, a textile designer, created a series of revolutionary interiors that combined old furniture and objects with startlingly modern concepts of color and design. These designs gave way to a new approach to interior design that continues to influence designers today.
In 1894 Carl began recording everyday life at Sundborn in a series of remarkable intimate watercolors painted in a fresh new style. They were published in 1899 under the title Ett hem (A Home), accompanied by text on Larsson's ideas about decoration. These novel images of a busy family life were immediately recognized as having captured a Swedish ideal. The Larssons' ideas on domestic decoration, with their revolutionary approach to light and color, became a vital element in the creation of a twentieth-century Swedish style. But the Larssons' inspiration was not only Swedish. In fact their style was a brilliant synthesis of Swedish folk elements and ideas taken from the English Arts and Crafts movement as well as Art Nouveau and Japonisme.
This book presents the Larssons as designers and as creators of a remarkable domestic ideal. It sets them in their artistic and social context, using contemporary photographs and comparative pictures. At its heart are the remarkable Ett hem paintings and a stunning series of color photographs showing the interiors at Sundborn and Karin's glorious textiles, a continuing inspiration to interior designers and homemakers to this day.
EVA ERIKSSON is an architectural critic and historian, and teaches Swedish architectural history at Stockholm University.
DR. TORSTEN GUNNARSSON is Chief Curator of Collections at the National Museum, Stockholm, and has a special interest in nineteenth-century Scandinavian landscape painting.
LENA LARSSON is a designer, journalist, broadcaster, author and teacher whose work has considerably influenced a more informal approach to interior design in Sweden.
DR. CECILIA LENGEFELD, formerly a lecturer in Swedish language and literature at the University of Frankfurt am Main, is researching the relationship between German and Swedish art and literature.
DR. GILLIAN NAYLOR is Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art, London, and has written extensively on Arts and Crafts and modernism.
LENA RYDIN is a journalist and author in the areas of literature, craft and antiques who has made a special study of the Larssons and the Carl Larsson House.
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