Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Carl Larsson

Carl Larsson (1853-1919) mostly painted his family and lovely home named "Lilla Hyttnäs" in Sundborn, Sweden. Through Carl Larsson´s paintings and his books this house has become one of the most famous artist-homes in the world.

The Dining Room -"Now the table is laid, the children stand waiting impatiently behind the chairs and your place beside me on the sofa is free to be occupied", Carl Larsson says invitingly in his book Ett Hem (A Home).
Meals were important to the Larsson family. The adults did not eat by themselves; they kept the children around them. This surprised a number of visitors who were used to adults and children having separate lives.
There are stories of the merry dinners, of gossiping with the neighbours over coffee and of card games during the dark winter evenings. Carl and Karin had brought home to Sweden, the French habit of remaining a long time at the dinner table for conversation.
To this day the Dining Room is a gathering place for the Larsson family and their friends. The Dining Room was finished in 1890. No room like it had ever been seen before in Sweden. The red furniture, the red details of the room and the green panelling give a bright and happy impression. Karin had the panelling put up while Carl was away, but the colour scheme she left until he came home.
A variety of plates and other decorative things stood on the shelf above the panelling. Everything must be seen ! Light is filtered through the stained glass of the leaded centre window, which gives a warm and cosy atmosphere.
Now days the bright colours in the Dining Room may not seem so sensational, but contemporary writers commented on the "raw" colours, and indeed about the red chairs the Larssons had ordered from carpenter Arnbom in Sundborn.
It all seems so cheery on a wintery evening...Somehow those northerners manage to get through the cold winters. Hardy stock like us wisconsinites!
If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1822)

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