The Cloud , 1896
Oil on canvas, 119 x 109 cm
Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Stockholm
The Cloud, together with The Old Castle, is Prince Eugen's best-known painting. The first version (in Göteborgs Konstmuseum) was painted in 1895, shortly after the prince had begun to spend his summers at Tyresö, south of Stockholm. The replica included in the exhibition dates from the following year. The subject is not intended as a representation of a geographically defined location. Rather, the picture combines symbolic content and a magnificent simplification of form to create a striking whole that makes this Prince Eugen's most independent visual idea. The Cloud may at first sight seem to symbolize an ideal summer's day, but its mood is in fact more complex, marked by an undefined tension and a sense of a presence beyond what we are able to see. The intensity of the colour, the path into the unknown and the cloud in the distance, together with the absolute stillness, can all be interpreted as symbols of a longing for the life to come.