Search the Collections > Explore the Collections
Swedish version of this page
The Four Seasons
  • The Four Seasons

“The Four Seasons” shows a series of paintings from Nationalmuseum’s collections, all of them related to the seasons. It is a journey through the changing seasons and through Swedish art history at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The seasons were a common theme in Scandinavian art at the end of the 19th century. Artists and writers drew their motifs from the changing face of nature and from folk traditions surrounding holidays such as Christmas and Midsummer.

In depicting the seasons, fin de siècle painters adopted various approaches. One was precise, scientifically accurate, naturalistic observation, a technique perfected in the 1880s by artists such as Bruno Liljefors and Anders Zorn. The second approach involved a broader depiction of Scandinavian light and colour conditions, a more atmospheric type of painting in which details were blurred out. Long spring and summer evenings with low light appear in many well-known paintings by Richard Bergh, Karl Nordström, Anshelm Schulzberg, Julia Beck and Prince Eugen.

The light evenings were, in their way, an innovative artistic motif – one that couldn’t really be studied anywhere other than Scandinavia. The winter night, illuminated by the reflective snow, is likewise a specifically Scandinavian motif. In Sweden, Gustaf Fjæstad and his fellow members of the Rackstad group in particular developed winter motifs in their works.

Reproducing the distinctive features of the different seasons in images was not only an artistic challenge but also part of forging a national identity. The Scandinavian climate emphasizes the differences between the seasons. The cold winter, the long spring and the light summer evenings came to epitomize something that could be called typically Swedish.

Objects
Winter Scene from the Stockholm Waterfront
View of Riddarholmen
  • View of Riddarholmen

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 34 x 25 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 50 x 41 x 7,5 cm
  • Artist: Emma Toll, Swedish, born 1847-07-23, dead 1917-01-25
  • NM 7063
Sledging
  • Sledging

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 50 x 61 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 69,5 x 80,5 x 5,5 cm
  • Sign. 1882
  • Artist: Bruno Liljefors, Swedish, born 1860, dead 1939
  • NM 6504
Open-Air Painter. Winter-Motif from Åsögatan 145, Stockholm
Spring in Halland. Three Paintings in a Frame Sculpted by the Artist
An Arctic Spring Day. Study from North Norway
After the Bath
  • After the Bath

  • Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 53,5 x 36,5 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 93 x 76 x 3 cm
  • Sign. 1895
  • Artist: Anders Zorn, Swedish, born 1860-02-18, dead 1920-08-22
  • NM 1952
By Lake Siljan
  • By Lake Siljan

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 81 x 100 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 106 x 127 x 9 cm
  • Sign. 1905
  • Artist: Anders Zorn, Swedish, born 1860-02-18, dead 1920-08-22
  • NM 1689
Breakfast-Time
  • Breakfast-Time

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 87 x 91 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 128 x 134 x 7 cm
  • Sign. 1887
  • Artist: Hanna Pauli, Swedish, born 1864, dead 1940
  • NM 1705
Summer Night. Study
  • Summer Night. Study

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 55 x 92 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 64 x 101 x 3,5 cm
  • Artist: Otto Hesselbom, Swedish, born 1848, dead 1913
  • NM 4245
A Fox Family
  • A Fox Family

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 112 x 218 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 125 x 228 x 6 cm
  • Sign. 1886
  • Artist: Bruno Liljefors, Swedish, born 1860, dead 1939
  • NM 1376
An August Night. Study from North Norway
Jays
  • Jays

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 51 x 66 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 74 x 89 x 5 cm
  • Sign. 1886
  • Artist: Bruno Liljefors, Swedish, born 1860, dead 1939
  • NM 6811
Autumn, Varberg
  • Autumn, Varberg

  • Oil on wood
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 32 x 41 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 42 x 50 x 4 cm
  • Sign. 1888
  • Artist: Nils Kreuger, Swedish, born 1858-10-10, dead 1930-05-11
  • NM 4120
Storm Clouds
  • Storm Clouds

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 72 x 80 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 96 x 105 x 8 cm
  • Sign. 1893
  • Artist: Karl Nordström, Swedish, born 1855, dead 1923
  • NM 1893
Autumn
  • Autumn

  • Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: (h x b) 116 x 202 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 129 x 214 x 5 cm
  • Artist: Helmer Osslund, Swedish, born 1866-09-22, dead 1938-07-11
  • NM 6371