Johansson, Carl (1863-1944)

Johansson, Carl (1863-1944)
Johansson, Carl (1863-1944)

Carl Johansson was a Swedish painter of landscapes and a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm.

Johansson led a fascinating career, in which his style progressed as he became more embroiled in the looser brushwork of the emerging French painters.

Hailing from Härnösand, Sweden, his artistic foundations were formed at the Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under Edvard Perséus and Per Daniel Holm. The latter was a proponent of grandiose vistas imbued with romantic sentiment, which didn’t suit the young painter. Having encountered the works of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, he was looking forward, not back.

After a few years of academic study, which was possibly quite challenging, Johansson joined a progressive art group known as ‘The Opponents’. These were rather controversial it seems as the Academy apparently forced him to leave.

The Opponents (Opponenterna) consisted of 84 members led by Ernst Josephson. This band of enlightened minds campaigned against the Academy’s approach and demanded modernisation. Their wishes fell on deaf ears however, leading to the formation of Konstnärsförbundet ('the Artists' Association') soon after.

Johansson’s early works carry an academic weight, which underpins his brushwork and thought processes. But by the early 1890s, he was closer in style to the Impressionists - at which point he never looked back. Following study trips to France, Tenerife, and Italy, his works exhibit a closer affinity to the effects of light. And it’s likely that, over time, he became increasingly confident with plein air painting, probably working directly from nature. In 1889, he was rewarded and the World Exhibition in Paris beckoned. Quite an achievement and recognition for his progress.

When back in Sweden, he ventured widely to search for inspiration including to the epic vistas of Norrland and Ångermanland. Spending numerous Summers in picturesque Ramsele, staying with other artists in a boarding house.

By 1934, the Academy had clearly tweaked its ideals as Johansson was elected a member, which he accepted. Quite a turn of events given his earlier expulsion. And in this respect, he remains an important contributor to the progression of Swedish landscape art in general. Helping to lay the foundations for a new generation of budding artists.

Carl Johansson’s works are held in various public collections including at National Museum in Stockholm, in Norrköping, Östersund, and the Swedish State's collection at Gripsholm Castle.


Born in Härnösand, Sweden.


Began studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm. Taught by Edvard Perséus and Per Daniel Holm.


Joined the Opponenterna (Opponents).


Participated in the World Exhibition, Paris.


Travelled to France.


Travelled to Tenerife.

1901 & 1914

Travelled to Italy.


Elected a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm.


Died in Lidingö, Sweden.

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