28
28

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Carl Larsson
SWEDISH
MY COUNTRY COTTAGE IN WINTER, SUNDBORN
JUMP TO LOT
28

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR

Carl Larsson
SWEDISH
MY COUNTRY COTTAGE IN WINTER, SUNDBORN
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

|
London

Carl Larsson
1853 - 1919
SWEDISH
MY COUNTRY COTTAGE IN WINTER, SUNDBORN
signed with initials and dated C.L. 1904 lower right
watercolour, gouache and charcoal on paper
64.5 by 99cm., 25½ by 39in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection (acquired at the 1905 Venice exhibition)
Private Collection, USA
Private Collection, Portugal
Purchased by the present owner in Stockholm in 1996

Exhibited

Venice, VI Esposizione Internazionale D'Arte, 1905, no. 3
New York, The American Art Galleries & Chicago, The Art Institute, Exhibition of Contemporary Scandinavian Art, 1912-13, no. 13

Literature

Ulwa Neegaard, Carl Larsson, Signerat med pensel och penna, Stockholm, 1999, vol. I, p. 319, illustrated; vol. II, p. 94, no. 1097, catalogued

Catalogue Note

The present work is one of a small number of watercolours depicting the front of Lilla Hyttnäs, the Larsson's country house at Sundborn, in winter. Set on a sunny winter's day, the building's roofs are laden down with snow. A sledge and a selection of skis have been left before the front door, and just peeking out of the porch is four-year-old Esbjörn, the Larsson's youngest son, wrapped up against the cold in a red hat and coat.

The majority of Larsson's depictions of family life in Sundborn feature the cottage's interior. But as Lilla Hyttnäs evolved through Carl and Karin's extensions to the property - a new studio, extra sleeping quarters, additional outbuildings - and the property increased in stature, so Larsson returned at intervals to record its main approach and front entrance.

Karin Larsson's father had originally purchased Lilla Hyttnäs in 1875 for his widowed mother and her two sisters, Ulla and Maria. When Ulla died in 1888 Maria moved out, Karin's father gave the property to his daughter and son-in-law. But when Karin and Carl took on the property as their summer residence they found little to recommend it beyond the site itself, and the possibilities inherent in the house. It was perched on what Carl called a slag heap, and was accompanied by a couple of lilac bushes, some birch trees and a potato patch.

Despite this, the Larssons started making changes and additions. In 1890 Larsson added a first studio on to the house, financed in part by a bequest from Karin's father who had died earlier that year. A porch was also added to the main entrance. Then in 1899 the new and significantly larger free standing studio was built, the old studio becoming the workshop, where Karin set up her weaving looms and which on occasion was also used for entertaining. Until 1901 the Larssons used the house just during the warm summer months and for Christmas, but that year connecting rooms were constructed between the old cottage and the new studio to enable the family to live at Lilla Hyttnäs all year round (fig. 1). 

The recording of the improvements to Lilla Hyttnäs became a central theme in Larsson's work, and one that through his watercolours, illustrated books and writings brought him considerable financial success. Certainly, by the time the present work was painted, the Larssons had created an idyll of domestic harmony that has since come to represent Swedish style the world over. 

19th Century European Paintings

|
London