Gustaf Fjaestad

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Biography of Gustaf Fjaestad ( 1868-1948 )

Born in 1868 in Sweden, Gustaf Fjaestad studied at the Royal Academy from 1891 to 1892 and at the Swedish Artist Association in 1893. He became a pupil of Bruno Liljefors, the famous and influential wildlife painter. He studied also with the painter Carl Larsson and assisted him in completing fresco murals at the Swedish National Museum.

He exhibited for the first time in 1897. At the age of thirty years, Gustaf Fjaestad was already acclaimed as one of Swedens leading artists, after exhibiting numerous of snow landscapes  at the Stockholm Artists Union in 1898. But it was on the international art scene that the achieved his greatest success. Fjaestad was extremely active in sending his paintings abroad in the first three decades of the new century. It was the German art lovers and critics who first praised his delicate winter traceries. In Rome (1911) his paintings were present at Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte. 

He was well-known for his paintings ofsnow-covered forests and bubbling streams of Värmland, Sweden. Fjaestad’s technique was unusual in that he coated the canvas with light-sensitive chemicals and projected an image of the scene upon it as a preliminary map of light, which he would then use to complete the painting by hand. In contemplating the painting, the viewer is slowly rocked into a sort of meditative state of mind. There is an intriguing feeling of spellbinding magic, a sense of childhood fairytale.

Fjaestad also designed tapestries and wooden furniture in a Swedish folk art style, and helped found the Rackstad Artists Colony in Värmland with his wife, Kerstin Maja Fjaestad, and fellow artists. 

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