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Art review: Love, gentleness, and silverljus in Grez

After Waldemarsudde has worked konstnärskolonierna in Skagen, Tyresö and the German Worpswede-directed gaze now towards the north of France.

In the season's major exhibition ”Grez-sur-Loing. Art and relationships” is the ambition to make a rereading of the history of Swedish art, and to provide a fuller picture of the colony during the late 1800s, attracted artists from primarily Scandinavia and the anglo-saxon world.

Already there is omläsningen in time. From a Swedish horizon, the tiny village six miles south of Paris been regarded as an almost exclusively national affair. As a place where artists hung out with other Swedish artists, and was influenced by the budding impressionist movement. As the place where the promising artist Karin Bergöö met Carl Larsson and step into a centuries-old shadow behind her husband.

Carl Larsson ”In the garden”, 1883. Photo: the national museum

has shown, it was rather the international network that emerged in the schools and salons of Paris as the Swedish artists, and writers such as Strindberg and Verner von Heidenstam, to seek out the picturesque surroundings of Grez.

Karl Nordström, Richard Berg, Nils Kruger, Eva Bonnier, Julia Beck and other prospective plein air artists on the lookout for the landscape and the light were attracted by the silvery river Loing and the proximity to the mighty Fontainebleauskogen. But also in the companionship of newfound friends, the irish landscape painter Frank O'meara, a key figure in the colony.

In comparison with the more famous French konstnärskolonier that Barbizon had Grez also the advantage that the decadence do not bloom for the strong. It appealed to the relatively chaste bohemians from the Uk, America, Canada and Sweden, according to the researcher, Alexandra Herlitz catalogue.

therefore, there is nothing mild and nonthreatening over the landscape painting that was created in Grez-sur-Loing. And this is where the Waldemarsudde museum guides its visitors in kolonilivet.

Julia Becks valörmåleri reach without bombastic exclamation point to its peak at Loings hazy beaches. Even Bruno Liljefors ”Plommonkvist in bloom” and Karin Larsson's ”cherry blossom” is sensitive, ljussäkra oil paintings that are characterised by restrained fervour.

Karin Larsson ”cherry blossom”, 1884. Photo: Per Eriksson

the Exhibition consists of a hundred works by artists from eight different countries. At the side of the pure nature scenes offered friend, more informal umgängesbilder and some examples of typical idealiserande images of peasants at work.

The worn out brick houses, they and the society in Grez seems to have attracted the best of several artists. A little extra fun is it to see habila works of less well-known painters as Ivar Nyberg and Norwegian John Grimelund.

the time was in Grez-sur-Loing is not only important for the educated family in the village. It was also here that Carl Larsson fully released the academic style of painting he struggled with and found the way to both akvarellfärgen and a significantly lighter penselföring. The difference is clearly visible if you compare the ”Little Suzanne”, where Carl Larsson has recycled a fragment of a large rough painting rejected by the Salon in Paris, with, for example, the emblematic watercolor ”In the garden”.

the Exhibition's most important couples is, however, the Swedish sculptor, Carolina Benedicks-Bruce and her canadian husband, William Blair Bruce, who both met and lived for several years in Grez-sur-Loing.

Parbyst of Carolina Benedicks-Bruce, 1897. Photo: Bo Göran Kristoffersson

Carolina Benedicks-Bruce's tender parbyst shows two equal artists, who together consider a small painting. The relationship is also confirmed in a series of portraits where Wiliam Blair Bruce depicts his creative wife for a male 1800-talskonstnär, remarkably respectful way.

grabs in the history of art is characterised as the exhibition of knowledge and care. It is, however, no attempt to tie it showed the story to contemporary art, which has been made in the past with varying degrees of success. Such tankesprång is risky, but osäkrar in an appealing manner.

anyway, that is the formation of the whole, that is the point of ”Grez-zur-Loing. Art and relationships.”

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