Bruno Andreas Liljefors (1860-1939) was a Swedish artist, the most important and probably the most influential wildlife painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He also drew some sequential picture stories, making him one of the early Swedish comic creators.
Liljefors is held in high esteem by painters of wildlife and is acknowledged as an influence, for example, by American wildlife artist Bob Kuhn. All his life Liljefors was a hunter, and he often painted predator-prey action, the hunts engaged between fox and hare, sea eagle and eider, and goshawk and black grouse serving as prime examples. However, he never exaggerated the ferocity of the predator or the pathos of the prey, and his pictures are devoid of sentimentality.
The influence of the Impressionists can be seen in his attention to the effects of environment and light, and later that of Art Nouveau in his Mallards, Evening of 1901, in which the pattern of the low sunlight on the water looks like leopardskin, hence the Swedish nickname Panterfällen. Bruno was fascinated by the patterns to be found in nature, and he often made art out of the camouflage patterns of animals and birds. He particularly loved painting capercaillies against woodland, and his most successful painting of this subject is the largescale Capercaillie Lek, 1888, in which he captures the atmosphere of the forest at dawn. He was also influenced by Japanese art, for example in his Goldfinches of the late 1880s.
During the last years of the nineteenth century, a brooding element entered his work, perhaps the result of turmoil in his private life, as he left his wife, Anna, and took up with her younger sister, Signe, and was often short of money. This darker quality in his paintings gradually began to attract interest and he had paintings exhibited at the Paris Salon.
He amassed a collection of animals to act as his living models. Ernst Malmberg recalled:
The animals seemed to have an instinctive trust and actual attraction to him...There in his animal enclosure, we saw his inevitable power over its many residents??foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, weasels, an eagle, eagle owl, hawk, capercaillie and black game.
The greatness of Liljefors lay in his ability to show animals in their environment. Sometimes he achieved this through hunting and observation of the living animal, and sometimes he used dead animals: for example his Hawk and Black Game, painted in the winter of 1883-4, was based on dead specimens, but he also used his memory of the flocks of black grouse in the meadows around a cottage he once lived in at Ehrentuna, near Uppsala. He wrote:
The hawk model??a young one??I killed myself. Everything was painted out of doors as was usually done in those days. It was a great deal of work trying to position the dead hawk and the grouse among the bushes that I bent in such a way as to make it seem lively, although the whole thing was in actuality a still life.
Related Paintings of bruno liljefors :. | gasflock | tjadrar i morgonljus | andfamilj bland nackrosor | rav med beckasin | orrspel i mossen |
Related Artists:Giovanni Martinelli
Italian Baroque Era Painter, 1610-1659MASTER of Budapest
active c. 1500 in CastileErastus Salisbury Field
American painter. He studied with Samuel F. B. Morse in New York during the winter of 1824-5. On his return to the rural isolation of Leverett, MA, he painted his earliest known work, the portrait of his grandmother Elizabeth Billings Ashley (Springfield, MA, Mus. F.A.). His career as an itinerant portrait painter began in 1826, most of his commissions coming through a network of family associations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. The portraits of 1836-40 are considered his best. From 1841 he lived mainly in New York, where he expanded his subject-matter to include landscapes and American history pictures. There he presumably studied photography, for on his return to Massachusetts he advertised himself as a daguerreotypist. His few portraits painted after 1841 are copied from his own photographs and lack the expressive characterization and decorative power of his earlier work. From 1865 to 1885 his paintings were based primarily on biblical and patriotic themes. The Historical Monument of the American Republic (1867-88; Springfield, MA, Mus. F.A.) stands alone in American folk art in size (2.82*3.89 m), scope and imaginative vision. Inspired by plans for a national celebration of the centennial of the USA in 1876, Field painted an architectural fantasy of eight towers linked by railway bridges and trains at the tops, with the history of the USA in low-relief sculpture on the exterior surfaces of the towers. Field added two more towers to the painting in 1888 and thereafter retired.