I was surprised to discover that Carl Larsson had a sad, harsh life spent in poverty during his early years. One would never guess that by looking at his beautiful, serene paintings of his life after marriage.
He painted with oils without much public success before marriage. After marrying his wife Karin and switching to watercolors he found more fame as a painter. His eight children and family life in beautiful Sundborn in a little cottage by the river made for unending, lovely subject matter.
I found this reproduction print a few months ago and even though it has scratches on it as if it had been stuck to another piece of glass at one time I still love it. All of his work has a special softness to it.
This print is called Papa’s Room. I’m especially drawn to it because as a child I always wanted a big, bed with curtains in the middle of the room like a fort. A private little fort to hide away and read all day in secret. I love the bookshelves in the painting. I could certainly use bookshelves that go all the way around my room. As a matter of fact my granddaughter does have that in her room, custom built by her father and I think Carl Larsson himself would approve of the soft happy colors her room is painted in.
I read that Carl and his wife did not share a bedroom as most married people do. His wife slept with the children (most of the time, obviously not always) and Carl had a room to himself. I am a huge fan of that myself. Just think of all the snuggling with babies and toddlers. All of the goodnight stories and books. Plus he probably snored like most men do!
Other works of Carl Larsson that I like are:
In the Carpenter Shop
Brita in The Drawing Room
Bridge In Grez
Flowers on the Windowsill
Breakfast under The Big Birch
and both paintings of his studio, left and right.
Here are two more sites about Carl Larsson that you might enjoy:
You can also find a lot of his work, reprints on canvas and notecards and such on Ebay.