Ernst Josephson (1851-1906) Sweden

Ernst Josephson was a Swedish visual artist. He began his studies at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts of Stockholm and subsequently continued at École des Beaux-Arts, as well as at the Louvre.

Josephson organized and led the “Opponents Movement”, which opposed the work of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts and demanded modernization of the art curriculum. Other adherents of the Opponents Movement included artists such as Nils Kreuger, Karl Nordstrom and Eugene Jansson.

Two of his best known works are “David” and “Saul” from 1878, and he is also acclaimed for “Strömkarlen” (The Nix) from 1884. As a portrait painter, he produced many works depicting fellow artists and landscapes. These works reflect his psychologically sharp eye and testify to his brilliant talent with color.

Despite his great success as an artist, Josephson was financially destitute. He began to drink and devoted himself to spiritualism and religious ruminations, and later suffered from mental illness. Josephson created a large number of visionary paintings and drawings based on the world of myths and sagas during his illness.

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