As a small child I had a print hanging in my bedroom of a little blonde girl holding a flower. I was fascinated with that little girl and it is one of the fond (only) memories I have of my room. At a young age my mother introduced me to Carl Larsson and I have since been a huge admirer of his work.
Carl Larsson was a classically trained painter at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and showed great artistic talent at an early age. But it wasn't until he married Karin Bergöö that he embraced his (now iconic) style of colorful, technical watercolors, depicting their relaxed family life. Most of his famous paintings were painted in their family summer home, Lilla Hyttnäs.
During my recent trip to Sweden, I was so thrilled to take the long trek from Stockholm to the Larsson home. After traveling three and a half hours by train and two bus rides we arrived in the tiny village of Sundborn. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, I loved it. The countryside was astoundingly beautiful.
Lilla Hyttnäs is situated in front of the most picturesque pond with wild flowers and trees surrounding it. I felt like I had been transported into a dream, and given a glimpse into the world of Carl Larsson. The day was perfect and the weather a bit tempermental. I kept pinching myself because I couldn't believe I was actually at Carl and Karin Larsson's home!
We were given a guided tour through the house, but unfortunately couldn't take photographs of the interior. What amazed me was that the Larsson family still vacation in this home, and during a few months of the year allow the public to see it.
Karin Larsson was an amazing artist as well. She designed and wove the most beautiful, colorful, and modern tapestries all throughout the home, as well as designed and sewed all their (including eight children) clothing, and painted and designed furniture too. One time Karin commissioned a local carpenter to make her a rocking chair. The carpenter was so ashamed of the chair that he delivered it in the middle of the night so that no one would see what he had made.
The Larsson's were way ahead of their time, so modern in every way. They had a much more relaxed approach to raising their children and even ate together as a family, which was unheard of at the time. I like to think they were thought of as the odd eccentric family that weren't truly understood.
The home is such a beautiful mix of both artists. There were murals of Karin and the children on several of the doors as well as the furniture and in the dinning room. The chairs were painted a variety of different colors upholstered in Karin's beautiful tapestries, as well as woven curtains and pillows. Both artists added their love and personal touches to the home. Exactly how a home should be.
The Larsson home and their approach to living art in all aspects of their lives is such an inspiration to me. I hope you enjoyed my tour.
Next week I'll have more pictures of Stora Hyttnäs, the home of the Larsson's friends and neighbors.