Lot 217
  • 217

Carl Larsson

150,000 - 250,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Carl Larsson
  • Esbjörn

  • signed with initials C.L. lower right; titled ESBJÖRN upper left
  • oil on canvas
  • 70 by 100cm., 27½ by 39¼in.


Lisa Mannheimer, Gothenburg
Axel Mannheimer, Gothenburg


Stockholm, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Invigningsutställning, 1916, no. 89 Stockholm, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Carl Larsson-100 å, Minnesutställning, 1953, no. 762
Göteborg, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Carl Larsson, 1971, no. 97
Modum, Blaafarveværket, (Norway), Sommaren med Carl Larsson, 1989, no. 67
Århus, Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Julen med Carl Larsson, 1988−1989, n.n.


Ernst Malmberg, Larsson – Liljefors – Zorn. En återblick, Stockholm, 1919, illustrated
Ulwa Neergaard, Carl Larsson − Signerat med pensel och penna, Stockholm, 1999, vol. II, p. 130, no. 1395; p. 467, illustrated in colour
Michael Snodin and Elisabet Stavenow-Hidemark, Carl and Karin Larsson, Creators of the Swedish Style, London, 1999, p. 182, no. 217, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1910, the present work depicts Esbjörn, Carl and Karin Larsson's seventh child and youngest son aged ten years old.

His pose is a prelude to Larsson's famous Breakfast in the Open in the Konstmuseum, Norrköping that shows three generations of the Larssons' family and friends gathered for breakfast at Bullerholmen, the small island opposite the family home at Lilla Hyttnäs (fig. 1). 

In the present work Esbjörn takes up the same position as in the Norrköping painting, his back to the viewer, arms around his knees seated on the ground. Unlike the larger composition, however, in the present oil Esbjörn's youth is not contrasted with the be-whiskered laplander in traditional costume. Instead, all the focus is on his contemporary outfit. Dressed not in a traditional country smock, nor even in a sailor suit reserved for special occasions, Larsson paints his son in the strikingly contemporary design of shorts and shirt in two different stripes. The style follows the introduction at the turn of the century of more comfortable children's clothes, an area that Karin, Larsson's wife, was at the forefront of in her textile design and manufacture.  

Like the present depiction of Esbjörn, Larsson completed other parts of the Norrköping painting as separate compositions. These included the central figure of the laplander and his portrayal of his eldest child Lisbeth (fig. 2).

A present from Karin's father in 1888, Lilla Hyttnäs became Carl and Karin's ideal home, and in the years that followed Larsson's primary source of inspiration.   

Fig. 1, Carl Larsson, Frukost i det gröna (Breakfast in the Open), 1910-13, Konstmuseum, Norrköpings

Fig. 2, Carl Larsson, Lisbeth vid björken, sold in The Scandinavian Sale, Sotheby's, London, 27th June 2007, lot 414

Fig. 3, The present work hanging at the exhibition Invigningsutställning at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm in 1916