Fahlström, Fredrik Waldemar (Baldomero) (1870-1913)

Fahlström, Fredrik Waldemar (Baldomero) (1870-1913)

Swedish artist Fredrik Waldemar (Baldomero) Fahlström seems to have worked predominantly in Chile during his life, which was tragically cut short in 1913.

There is, unfortunately, very little known about the artist. He worked for a period of ten years as a drawing teacher at the military school in Valparaiso, Chile. It appears that it was during a trip back to his homeland that he suddenly died. He was seemingly unmarried, and a death notice appeared in the Swedish press from his siblings, lamenting their ‘painful duty’ at the loss of their ‘dearly beloved son and brother.’

Fahlström was said to have reproduced many works after the Spanish master Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). Another work, of a man donned in Middle Eastern dress, is executed in a lively, impressionistic manner. It is interesting to consider the possibilities of this work and why it was produced. There had been a growing interest throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century in the Western world about Middle Eastern culture. Perhaps this painting was commissioned by a man who wanted to make a point about his interest by being depicted in Middle-Eastern attire.

It is a shame the finer details of Fahlström’s life have been lost. Why was a Swedish artist working predominantly in Chile? What connections drew him there?

Whatever the case, the works of Fahlström’s that survive demonstrate a painter with a sophisticated and lively skill whose life was ruthlessly cut too short.


Born in Uddevalla, Sweden.


Worked as a drawing teacher in Valparaiso, Chile.


Died in Chile.

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