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 :. | tjadrar i morgonljus | skrakar | vassbunke | sommarnatt, qvarnbo | Partridge with Daisies |
Related Artists:BOCCACCINO, Camillo
Italian painter, Cremonese school (b. 1504/5, Cremona, d. 1546, Cremona)
Camillo Boccaccino (c. 1504 - 1546) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period, active mainly in Cremona and regions of Lombardy. He was the son and pupil of the painter Boccaccio Boccaccino. He was known to Gian Paolo Lomazzo and Giorgio Vasari. He painted the four evangelists (1537) in the niches of the cupola of San Sigismondo at Cremona.Percy Gray
was an American painter. Gray was born into a San Francisco family endowed with a broad literary and artistic background. He studied under Arthur Frank Mathews at the San Francisco School of Design and later under William Merritt Chase. While he had some early Impressionistic tendencies, his primary expression was under the Tonalism Mathews had brought back from Paris. He is known for his extraction of beauty from the Northern California landscape. Alexander Gray, Percy's father, was born in England, but found his way to a successful insurance business in San Francisco. As the byproduct of a childhood illness, Percy realized he had talents in art. From 1886 to 1888 he attended the California School of Design, then led by Mathews. From there he went on to become a newspaper illustrator, obtaining a job with the New York Journal. In New York he also studied at the Art Students League. He was dispatched from New York to cover the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but decided to remain in his native city where he would then take up his painting career. Gray's first pieces, headland seascapes, were exhibited in 1907; soon thereafter he addressed in watercolor eucalyptus groves and fields of California wildflowers. These subjects would become signatures of his work. Originally Gray's works were oils; however, he eventually developed an allergy to oil paints, and therefore switched to using watercolors as his primary medium.  From early on the critics marvelled at his ability to infuse realistic depictions of nature with a mystical and poetic quality. He was clearly applying the precepts of his mentor William Merritt Chase in exaggeration of light and color. From 1912 to 1923 Gray lived in Burlingame, California about twenty miles south of San Francisco, while keeping his studio in the city itself. At the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition he won a bronze medal for his watercolor Out of the Desert, Oregon. Having been a bachelor for 53 years, Gray surprised his friends by marrying. He and his bride moved to the Bonificio Adobe in Monterey, where seascapes and cypress dominated his later works. Maurice cullen