Carl Johansson - Winter Landscape From Björksätra, 1887
Carl Johansson (1863-1944) Sweden
Winter Landscape From Björksätra (Björksättra), 1887
oil on canvas signed and dated Carl Johansson -87 canvas dimensions 100 x 60 cm (39.37 x 23.62 inches) frame 110 x 70 cm (43.31 x 27.56 inches)
Provenance: A Swedish private collection
Essay: For sale is a mesmerizing piece of artistry by the Swedish artist Carl Johansson (1863-1944), capturing a serene winter landscape of Björksätra in Huddinge, just outside of Stockholm. Painted when Johansson was 24 years old, this artwork displays a deep perspective, showcasing majestic birches, an ancient elm, and spruces set against a winter sky flushed with the pink-red hues of a waning afternoon. The sparse distribution of trees reveals a pristine layer of snow, adding depth and dimension to the painting.
Johansson's artistry at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable. Very few paintings from this period are known, which only amplifies the rarity and allure of this piece. It stands out as one of the most thrilling and beautiful paintings of Johansson's early career to have hit the art market. Over the years, we have had the privilege to sell numerous paintings by him, but this one is undoubtedly among the finest.
1885 was a pivotal year for Carl Johansson. As the youngest member, he joined the 'opponent movement' and just a year later became a member of the Artists' Association. This movement led to the first exhibition titled "From the Banks of the Seine," held at Blanch's salon in Stockholm in the spring of 1885. This was closely followed by the "Opponents' Exhibition" at the same location, marking a significant breakthrough in Swedish landscape art. Johansson participated with two works, one of which, like our featured painting, depicted Björksätra in Huddinge.
This location held a special place in his heart; it was where he lived on a farm with land inherited from his maternal grandfather, the district judge Bergström. An interview with Johansson, conducted in 1941, reflects his attachment to his early paintings. He speaks about tracking down one of his 1884 paintings, expressing an unwillingness to sell it, showcasing his profound connection to his work.
The 1880s marked the breakthrough of Swedish plein air painting. All subjects were studied in their natural setting, painted outdoors across all seasons. The exhibitions "From the Banks of the Seine" and the "Opponents' Exhibition" epitomized the contrasting perceptions of the French and Swedish landscapes by emigrant and young homecoming artists, respectively.
Carl Johansson was deeply involved in the opponent movement, exhibiting with the Association until 1890. That year, he took part in the formation of the Swedish Artists' Association, initiated by younger members who viewed the previous body as overly authoritarian.
This painting not only represents the mastery of Carl Johansson but also encapsulates the spirit and fervor of the 1880s Swedish art scene. It's a tribute to the timeless beauty of Björksätra and a testament to Johansson's place in Swedish art history. Owning this painting is owning a piece of that rich history.
Condition: The painting has recently been restored. When we received it, it was covered in dirt, and some areas required minor touch-ups; we realized it needed conservation treatment of the very highest level. Our conservator has done a fantastic job, and today the painting is in excellent condition. The frame is handcrafted by Swedish wood carver and frame maker Christer Björkman.
Carl Johansson - Spring Landscape, Björksätra 1895, sold at Bukowskis, sale 568, lot 82, final price 10.749€ including buyers premium.
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