oil on masonite panel signed and dated Carl Johansson 1941 panel dimensions: 41 x 31 cm (16.14 x 12.20 inches) black frame dimensions: 51.5 x 42 cm (20.27 x 16.52 inches) original frame dimensions: 55 x 46 cm (21.65 x 18.11 inches)
Provenance: We acquired this piece from a private collection in Canada.
Condition: Very good, Bright and clear colors, surface cleaned in 2023.
Essay: Renowned for his mastery in capturing the essence of nature, Carl Johansson's work often evoked a deep sense of serenity and wonder. His pieces, especially from the later years of his life, are characterized by vivid blue tones, a color he became increasingly fond of and integrated into his landscapes.
One particularly captivating piece, painted in 1941, showcases a breathtaking view overlooking a serene river, possibly inspired by the landscapes of Hälsingland, a region in Sweden known for its enchanting blue-tinted mountains. These "blånande" mountains, as they are referred to in Swedish, act as a distant backdrop, lending the painting a sense of vastness and depth.
In the foreground, the viewer's eye is drawn to meticulously rendered evergreens, likely spruces, juxtaposed against the delicate white trunks of what appear to be birch trees. The river itself, gracefully meandering through the middle ground, offers stunning reflections, creating a mirror image of the sky and surrounding mountains.
Speaking of the sky, it is a vibrant shade of blue with just a few wisps of cloud, reinforcing the overall blue palette that Johansson was known for. The brushwork is distinct — short, deliberate strokes laden with rich color, lending the painting an added layer of depth and texture.
In essence, this piece not only speaks to Johansson's unparalleled skill as an artist but also serves as a testament to his deep appreciation and understanding of the Swedish landscape.
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