oil on wood panel signet N.KREUGER. unframed 13.5 x 24.5 cm framed 26.5 x 37 cm
Provenance: A private collection, Belgium.
Essay: This exquisite oil painting on panel, measuring 13.5 x 24.5 cm, is a beautiful piece by Nils Kreuger, a distinguished Swedish painter. The artwork depicts five cattle grazing on a green meadow, a scene that encapsulates the tranquil beauty of rural life. In the distance, the horizon is graced by the sea, adding a serene backdrop to the pastoral theme.
Nils Kreuger's unique style is evident in this painting, particularly in his characteristic use of black lines that trace the forms of the cattle. This stylistic choice adds a dynamic and almost rhythmic quality to the composition, capturing the essence of the animals in a way that is both artistic and lifelike.
The painting is further enhanced by a newly crafted, elegant black frame that complements its aesthetic and ensures its preservation.
Nils Kreuger (1858–1930) was a master of landscape and rural scene painting. His journey as an artist began at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, although illness interrupted his studies. He later continued his education under Edvard Perséus and in Paris at the Académie Colarossi. Kreuger's early works were often painted en plein air in Grez-sur-Loing, showcasing his affinity for capturing natural light and atmosphere, particularly at dawn or dusk.
He was a key figure in the Opponenterna movement, which challenged the outdated methods of the Royal Academy. His move to Varberg led to the formation of the Varbergsskolan, a group that veered towards Romantic nationalism in landscape painting, influenced in part by Paul Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Kreuger's later years saw him in Stockholm, with summers in Öland where he painted cows and horses. His style evolved, introducing lighter palettes and dots, and he also ventured into illustration and furniture design. Despite challenges with his eyesight in his later years, Kreuger continued to paint, leaving behind a legacy that is celebrated in major Swedish art museums such as; Nationalmuseum Stockholm, Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, the Thiel Gallery, and the Gothenburg Museum of Art.
This painting, with its delicate interplay of light and shadow and its representation of rural tranquility, is not only a testament to Kreuger's artistic skill but also a piece of Swedish cultural heritage. It is an ideal acquisition for collectors and enthusiasts of Nordic art, offering both aesthetic pleasure and historical significance.
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