Nils von Dardel studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm from 1908 to 1910. After 1910, he was primarily active in Paris, where he visited the Académie Matisse. Dardel debuted with refined naive works, but toward the end of the 1910s, he turned to more existential motifs featuring fantasy and dream-world characters. Around 1912, Dardel’s Cubist experiment turned into pointillism, and he began filling areas with dots and specks. Dardel found Oriental art and the naive art of Rousseau le Douanie compelling, and while visiting Japan from 1917 to 1918, Japanese woodcuts influenced his work. Bright colors and a linear style replaced his previous spotted technique. Japanese art also piqued his interest in animals, particularly dogs and monkeys. In 1939, Liljevalchs in Stockholm held a retrospective of Dardel’s work.