Swedish artist, Bror Kronstrand, became one of the leading society painters of his generation and produced hundreds of portraits for wealthy patrons. At the age of 20, he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm, where he quickly gained attention by winning the Ducal Medal.
This early success was followed a few years later by a move to England where he spent time in Newlyn, Cornwall. He was a sociable gentleman with a keen sense of humour and soon made many friends.
In 1907, his first major break came in the form of a commission to paint Queen Alexandra and then later, King Gustaf V of Sweden. This in turn led to a call from the White House and a trip to the USA to produce a portrait of the President’s wife, Helen Louise Taft.
Kronstrand had reached a high point in his career and the commissions came flooding in - especially from women who enjoyed his flattering style.
It’s said that he worked quickly and could produce a portrait in three hours. Generally, he began with a charcoal sketch and layered on semi-transparent colours to allow the drawing to shine through from below.
Other sitters included Swedish Prime Minister Per Albin Hansson and Czech President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. Today, Kronstrand is represented at the Kalmar Art Museum and the National Museum in Stockholm.
Born in Mariestad, Sweden to Karl Fredrik Kronstrand, a locomotive foreman, and Ida Johanna Pettersson.
Enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm where he later became a member. Studied under G Cederström.
Awarded the Ducal Medal for a history painting.
Studied etching under Axel Tallberg.
Active in Newlyn, England, where he visited Stanhope Forbes’ painting school.
Worked in London as an illustrator for The Bystander.
Produced a portrait of Queen Alexandra.
Produced a portrait of King Gustaf V.
Active in the USA where he produced a portrait of President William Howard Taft's wife, Helen Louise Taft.
Produced a portrait of President Epitácio Pessoa of Brazil and later his successor, Bernande.
Moved back to Mariestad, Sweden.
Died in Stockholm, Sweden.