- Nils Dardel
- frälsningsarmén (the salvation army)
- signed and dedicated à mon cher ami George Papazoff / son frère Nils upper left; dated 1915 lower left
- watercolour on paper
- 31.5 by 48cm., 12¼ by 18¾in.
Rolf de Maré, Paris & Stockholm
Dardel spent the summers of 1915 and 1916 developing compositions inspired by the crowds at Sundet, in Eidsvoll in Norway. From these sketches Dardel worked up his important oil, Salvation Army, in which a group of young boys sing to the tones of five wind-instruments (fig. 1).
The grandson of the history painter Fritz von Dardel, Nils Dardel's aristocratic background enabled him to travel widely in Europe and throughout the world. After a short stint at the School of Art in Stockholm which he found overly conservative, he moved to Paris in 1910. Making contact with the Scandinavian contingent who were students of Matisse, Dardel would explore Cubism, Pointillism, and then develop his own brand of sophisticated naiveté. Although at one time a member of the Post-Impressionist group De Atta, Dardel's oeuvre is highly esoteric and often characterised by a satirical sharp-edged humour.
Fig. 1.: Nils Dardel, Salvation Army, Private Collection