Choose from a selected group of artists represented in the exhibition A Mirror of Nature: Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910.
Drottningholm Palace 1865 - Stockholm 1947, Swedish
Prince Eugen was the son of King Oscar II and Queen Sophia of Sweden. His choice of an artistic career was not one he made lightly, even though he had the support of his parents. Quite clearly, however, he saw art as a calling, and his extensive training and devotion to his task set him worlds apart from the royal dilettante. Indeed, it could be said that Eugen became an artist more despite than because of his royal birth. With his open mind, he was drawn towards the radical tendencies of the 1880s, and was to include among his friends many of the Swedish artists who in that and the following decade figured among the ranks of the Opponents and the Artists' Association. Prince Eugen's significance for art policy and the support which his acquisitions for his own collection gave to contemporary Swedish art were considerable.
Eugen began his artistic education in his youth, under various teachers, and on completing his secondary schooling read history of art for a time in Uppsala. After his studies in Sweden, he was to receive the major part of his artistic training in Paris. Between 1887 and 1889 he was a pupil of Léon Bonnat, Alfred Roll, Henri Gervex and, for a short time, Puvis de Chavannes. The latter's classical simplicity, especially, was to mould Eugen's development.
Prince Eugen devoted himself exclusively to landscape painting. Geographically, his main areas of interest were the countryside around Stockholm and Lake Mälaren, along with areas further to the south, in Västergötland and Skåne. Most important were a number of places where he spent his summers, such as Tyresö south of Stockholm, Örgården near Vadstena in Västergötland, and Österlen in Skåne. Central to his work are park landscapes and views of the sea approach to Stockholm from the Waldemarsudde estate on the island of Djurgården. Eugen bought this property in 1899 and a few years later built a residence there which is now preserved as a museum.
Artistically, Prince Eugen was to be one of the major figures in the emergence of the evocative Swedish landscape of the 1890s, combining in works like The Old Castle and The Cloud a personal atmospheric touch with classical grandeur of form. He also became one of the leading monumental painters of his day, and the first to introduce pure landscape as a subject in that context. His monumental works include The Light Night, 1899, and Summer, 1904, at the Norra Latin Grammar School in Stockholm, and the large fresco City on the Water, 1917-22, in Stockholm's City Hall.