Friday, October 30, 2009

Very Swedish childhood...

"Hösten städar sig själv med vindar."
(The autumn is cleaning itself with winds.)
(first line in a poem named "Höst", Fall, by Harry Martinson).

This summer we went to the Nordic Watercolor Museum in Skärhamn and saw an exhibit of the paintings by Elsa Beskow. In the early 1900s she started to write and illustrate children's book in a style that became famous and much loved in Sweden. When I grew up we probably had all her books, even if it was 50 years at least since they were first published. Her drawings, made at the kitchen table while she was taking care of her 5 children, are amazing in their clear colors and accurate depiction of nature, both animals and plants. But there is magic and wonder in there too - a feeling of amazement and joy. Here are some more of her drawings (click on the small images to see them bigger). I always thought that the yellow aspen leaves (falling in the drawing on the left) looked just like golden coins, but I am not sure if I read that in her book first or came up with it myself. It was probably Elsa Beskow...
































Enjoy!

2 comments:

Kate said...

Wow. I missed the exhibit, sadly, but I did make it to Skulptur i Pilane, right around the corner! Really a must see, for next summer.

Thanks for the pictures!

LS said...

I love the Pilane place, it is just amazing! Thanks for commenting on our blog!