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Carl Larsson

(Sweden, 1853-1919)
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Carl Larsson
(Sweden, 1853-1919)

"Kurragömma" (Hide-and-seek)

Signed C.L. Executed in 1898. Watercolour with oil paint 93 x 62 cm.

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Mr. Valter Philipson; Wholesale dealer Gösta Lindberg; Miss Märta Lindberg; Bukowski Auktioner AB, Stockholm, "Bukowski kvällsauktioner" (Evening Sale), October 19, 1987, lot 21; Nordén Auktioner AB, Stockholm, in cooperation with Sotheby's, Sale 1, May 11, 1992, lot 32; J.E. Safra Collection (acquired at the above sale).


Terza Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia, 1899, no. 29; Liljevalchs Konsthall (Liljevalchs Public Art Gallery), Stockholm, "Invigningsutställning. Larsson-Liljefors-Zorn", March-April 1916, no. 33; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, "Minnesutställning -Carl Larsson", March 6 - April 5, 1920, no. 130; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, "Carl Larsson. Minnesutställning ", September - October 1953, no. 736.


"Larssons", 1902, illustrated; Ernst Malmberg, "Larsson-Liljefors-Zorn. En återblick", 1919, mentioned p. 21; Georg Nordensvan, "Carl Larsson II. 1890-1919", SAK, 1921, listed in the catalogue, p. 227; Ulwa Neergaard, "Carl Larsson. Signerat med pensel och penna", 1999, illustrated full page in colour p. 235 and listed in the catalogue under year 1898, p. 71, no. 837.

More information

"Hide-and-seek" is a veritable tour de force within Carl Larsson’s impressive oeuvre. The artist's granddaughter Ulwa Neergaard has written the following about the boldly cropped composition with the diagonally emphasized perspective:
”The little girl hiding under the table while playing hide-and-seek is Carl Larsson's daughter Lisbeth. The setting is the artist’s atelier at Lilla Hyttnäs in Sundborn. This adorable composition was painted in 1898 when the artist was recovering from a very heavy workload during the previous years. In 1897 Larsson had just completed the prestigious frescoes in the entrance of the Nationalmuseum, as well as carried out the extensive decorations in the ceiling and the lunettes in the Royal Opera in Stockholm. On top of these gargantuan commissions he had also finished twenty-four watercolours depicting the Larsson family at home in Sundborn. These watercolours were intendended for publication in the, nowadays iconic and legendary, book ”Ett hem” (A Home) which came out, to great acclaim, in 1899. The twenty-four illustrations were technically very demanding to carry out since they were made to be reproduced/printed. When painting ”Hide-and-seek” Carl Larsson was, for the first time in a long time, unburdened by any patron's wishes or indeed technical demands related to printing processes and could therefor let his imagination run wild. From a technical painterly point of view he was also liberatingly free in how he delievered the brushstrokes in a composition where he never had to worry too much about either motif or the perspective”.


Carl Larsson is considered one of the greatest Swedish artists of all time. He was born in Gamla Stan in Stockholm and studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in the years 1866-76. After his studies in Stockholm, he traveled to France and settled in Grèz-sur-Loing. There he mainly painted garden motifs. In France, he met his future wife Karin Bergöö, who was also an artist and came to mean a lot for his artistry. Already during his student years, he made a living as a photo retoucher and cartoonist in the press. It was also during his studies that Larsson got to know Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors, together the three are usually called the ABC artists. At the end of the 1880s, Carl and Karin were given "Lilla Hyttnäs" in Sundborn outside Falun by Karin's father, and this is where Larsson's most famous watercolors depicting his family were created. The motifs often depict sunny landscapes with children, crayfish fishing, meals in the green and interior scenes. Larsson is represented, among other, in the National Museum, where "Gustav Vasas intåg i Stockholm" and "Midvinterblot" fills the stairwell. Represented mainly at the National Museum in Stockholm and at the Gothenburg Art Museum.

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