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 :. | simmande lom | grasander i vass | tjadrar i morgonljus | Jagare och grasander | Landscape With Cranes at the Water |
Related Artists:Master of the Schotten Altarpiece
was a German painter, active in Nuremberg during the 14th and 15th centuries. His name is derived from an altarpiece dated to about 1390, which once stood in the church of St. Mary in Schotten. The altarpiece was dismantled in 1828.
Edward Caledon Bruce
painted Robert E. Lee in 1865Thomas Cooper Gotch
Thomas Cooper Gotch Gallery
In Newlyn he worked first at painting local scenes in the then-fashionable realist manner. But even these often had a romantic edge, such as The Wizard or an obvious love of surface colour.
In 1891 a visit to Florence, Italy, opened his eyes to the work of the romantic European symbolists. He took the brave step of changing his style, to make romantic decorative paintings, when the prevailing fashion was against him. His first work in this new style was My Crown and Sceptre (1892), which was the progenitor to his most well-known work The Child Enthroned (1894). The latter, on original exhibition, was hailed by The Times newspaper as the star of that year's Royal Academy show. Until that time, his new style of work had drawn much critical scorn.
He painted religious Christian scenes, history painting, portraits, and a few landscapes. His best-known paintings, which form the bulk of his work, usually portray girl-children in ornate classical or medievalist dress. The appearance of the girls in his paintings is often noted as being very modern. Gotch was a close and lifelong friend of Henry Scott Tuke, whose work featured a parallel focus on the boy-child. Gotch's lifelong adoration of the beautiful girl-child was shared by other Victorian giants such as John Ruskin and Lewis Carroll.
His emotionally-charged work was immensely popular and critically acclaimed for most of his life, although interest in neo-romanticism waned after the First World War and he turned to watercolours of flowers. He also illustrated books, such as Round About Wiltshire, The Land of Pardons (an early study of Breton folklore & Celtic Christianity), and contributed illustrations to school readers such as Highroads of Literature.
A retrospective show was held in Newcastle in 1910, and a memorial exhibition in Kettering in 1931.