Monday, July 21, 2014

Swedish Showcase: Carl and Karin Larsson's Lilla Hyttnäs

In order to give a nod to one of Sweden’s most beloved artists, we’ve decided to feature the home and studio of Carl Larsson. He and his wife Karin (along with their many children) lived in Lilla Hyttnäs for most of their lives, and it was a constant source of inspiration for Carl’s works. Indeed, its depiction, the quality of light, Karin’s flair for interior design, and the lively family life are almost synonymous with the world’s concept of Sweden.

"The Kitchen" by Carl Larsson, 1898

Photo provided of Lilla Hyttnäs by Carl Larsson-gården 
Carl Larsson was born in Gamla stan on May 28, 1853. His family was very poor, but the early recognition of his strong artistic talent gave him hope of a bright future.  At the age of thirteen, one of his teachers convinced him to apply for a place at Principskolan, which was a preparatory department of the Art Academy.

After attending the Art Academy, Larsson worked as an illustrator for books, magazines and daily newspapers. He spent several years in Paris trying to establish himself as an artist but never had any success. The turning point of his career occurred in 1882, when he moved to Grez, a Scandinavian artist colony located outside of Paris. Here he met his future wife, Karin Bergöö and underwent a significant artistic transformation by turning away from oil painting in favour of watercolours.

"Crayfishing with the Family" by Carl Larsson, 1897
Carl had eight children with Karin, and found that his family became an undeniable influence in his works. Carl and Karin later acquired Lilla Hyttnäs from Karin’s father, and so they moved there in 1891 to live and work.
"Breakfast under the Big Birch" by Carl Larsson, 1896
Lilla Hyttnäs, located in Sundborn, makes for an interested day-trip for adults and children alike. The house looks the same as it did when Carl and Karin lived there, so it gives visitors a unique look into the lives and working spaces of this creative couple. It is also hailed as having summer’s “most exciting garden”!  The house is home to The Mill art gallery, where visitors can view a colourful exhibition of nature’s beauty in art and life.
Photo provided of Lilla Hyttnäs by Carl Larsson-gården 
If you’re interested in learning more about this interesting and historic art destination, you can reach the official website by clicking here.

Have you ever been? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!