Figures on the Boardwalk – Cape May, New Jersey, 1876

by Olof Hermelin

Olof Hermelin was one of the major Swedish landscape painters in the 19th century. The great love of his life was the landscape of central Sweden.

After his education at the Art Academy of Stockholm, Hermelin traveled frequently to Paris between 1870-1875, the heart of European plein-air-painting. In France, he became familiar with the paintings of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot and Charles-Francois Daubigny, the most famous landscape painters of the French “Barbizon School”. 

In Germany, Hermelin’s works were firstly shown at the international exhibitions in Berlin and Munich Glass Palace from 1888 to 1900. The National Museum of Stockholm, the Art Museum in Gothenburg, the University of Uppsala and the Nordic Museum in Lund in Sweden bought works of Hermelin. In addition, among others, the University in Philadelphia has a work of the painter.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 61.0 x 81.3 cm/24.0 x 32.0 ins
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right and dated 1876
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 5966 Categories: , ,

Olof Hermelin (1827 – 1913) was a Swedish painter and author.

He made study trips to Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Paris, Belgium and the Netherlands in 1870. Three years later, he revisited Düsseldorf and Paris and made a first visit to London. While in France, he was exposed to the work of the Barbizon School, which had a major influence on his future style. Part of this involved the practice of painting en plein aire.

Private collection, United Kingdom

Olof Hermelin’s grandfather was the cartographer, Samuel Gustaf Hermelin and his father was the baron August Söderling Hermelin, who adopted his mother’s surname as his middle name because he inherited Gripenberg Castle from her family.

Olof studied at Uppsala University and the military school in Stockholm; joining the Halland Regiment in 1848. He was promoted to Lieutenant two years later. His military career turned out to be short-lived, however, as he resigned the following year and settled down on his property in Råby-Rekarne Parish, Österby. During his time in Stockholm, he had taken classes from the landscape painter, Tore Billing at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, and had decided to pursue a career as an artist instead.

In 1852, he married Malin Lucie Liljenstolpe, from another landed family.

He made study trips to Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Paris, Belgium and the Netherlands in 1870. Three years later, he revisited Düsseldorf and Paris and made a first visit to London. While in France, he was exposed to the work of the Barbizon School, which had a major influence on his future style. Part of this involved the practice of painting en plein aire.

He was also an author; producing not only works about art, but short stories and plays as well. An interest in archaeology led him to publish a scientific study about the Viking age excavations on the island of Birka.

In 1871, he was named an “agré” (a type of member candidate) at the Royal Academy and, in 1876, served as the Commissioner for the Swedish art exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1885, he joined with numerous other Swedish artists in a group known as the Opponenterna, which was opposed to what they felt were the archaic teaching methods in use at the Academy.

His works may be seen at the National Museum and the Göteborgs konstmuseum, among several others.

 

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