Ivar Arosenius

If you find yourself in Stockholm sometime before April 11, 2010 – do take the time to visit the museum Waldemarsudde, for their Ivar Arosenius exhibit which opened this week-end.

A classically trained painter, Arosenius (1878-1909) travelled Europe, found his inspiration in the artist quarters of Paris, and scandalized Sweden with his bohemian lifestyle. His last years, however, he spent with his wife and young daughter, before he died at the age of thirty, from the side-effects of haemophilia. In these last quiet family years, he produced much of his best known work: among it his famous picture book Kattresan (roughly translated Journey on a Cat), in which his young daughter roams the world on the back of her kitten.

The Waldemarsudde exhibition (many of the pieces shown online here) shows the breadth of his artistry: he was political satirist, allegorical painter, and illustrator of idylls in turn. The most striking images are a large number of beautiful miniatures picturing scenes from popular tales and stories, and some larger paintings from the home, showing his young daughter as she discovers the wonders of the kitchen cabinet, the stairwell, and the front door.

The remaining impression is that of a skilful and motivated MALE artist, who did his most impressive work in paintings of children and their world.  

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One Response to “Ivar Arosenius”

  1. Peter Danckwerts Says:

    I love the pictures in Kattresan. I have a copy of it and my sister has another copy which our grandfather annotated with his own English translation.

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