August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation

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August Hagborg (1852-1921) Sweden

Quiet Contemplation, c. 1910-20

watercolor on paper
unframed 13.4 x 9.8 inches (34 x 25 cm)
framed 17.7 x 14.2 inches (45 x 36 cm)

Provenance:
A Swedish private collection.


Essay:
The artwork we present is a rare watercolor by the distinguished Swedish artist August Hagborg, painted in the later part of his career between 1910 and 1920. This watercolour is a departure from Hagborg's often-seen beach scenes with mussel pickers and instead offers a glimpse into a serene, pastoral moment. The scene is set against a timber house, with a man and a woman standing alongside, their gazes directed away from the viewer, which invites contemplation about the story behind their distant stares.

Watercolors by Hagborg are rare, making this piece particularly special. Its fine details suggest a mastery of the medium, likely honed over the years of his extensive career. A written letter from Göteborgs Konstmuseum, dated to the 1940s, suggests a later date for this piece.

August Hagborg, born on May 26, 1852, in Gothenburg and passed away on April 30, 1921, in Paris, was a renowned figure in the art world. His education at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm from 1871 to 1874 placed him among peers who would rise to prominence, such as Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn. Moving to Paris in the fall of 1875, Hagborg initially painted within the costume genre before finding his niche in coastal landscapes that garnered him accolades and recognition.

Hagborg's success was punctuated by his 1879 painting "Low Water at the English Channel," which won a medal and secured his position as an artist of note. He continued to paint scenes from the Swedish coasts during his summer visits and later from Dalarna after 1914. His travels outside France were limited, but he did visit Devon, England, in 1884 and Italy later in life.

Honoured with a knighthood in the Order of Vasa in 1883 and as a Commander Second Class of the Order of the North Star in 1908, Hagborg's work is represented in major museums such as the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

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August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation
August Hagborg - Quiet Contemplation