John Bauer studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts from 1900 to 1905 and studied abroad in Germany and Italy, as well as in Lappland. Throughout his life, Bauer connected his artwork to his youth in Småland, featuring pristine, mystical scenes of nature with trolls and the countless other beings that lurk in the fairytale forests of Sweden. After his marriage to Ester Ellqvist, Bauer’s wife, the princess with the blonde hair, became a central figure in many of his pictures. In 1907, Bauer began doing illustrations for the publication Among Gnomes and Trolls, which turned him into a leading fairytale artist. John Bauer and his family died when the steamship Per Brahe sank on Vättern in 1918.