Filip Artur Wahlström

View Of Älvsborg Fortress

Filip Artur Wahlström

View Of Älvsborg Fortress

This beautiful early 20th-century oil painting by Swedish artist Filip Artur Wahlström (1885-1972) depicts a dramatic moonlit sky over Älvsborg Fortress in Gothenburg district.

Wahlström was an accomplished painter of landscapes, rural villages, and still lifes. Hailing from Gothenburg, his legacy is one of vivid colours, controlled expression, and balanced compositions.

He trained at a time of great transition for Swedish art and his development coincided with the emergence of Swedish modernism. Studying first in his home town and Stockholm, his path led him ultimately to the busy environs of the short-lived Académie Matisse in Paris (Henri Matisse's painting school). Numerous Scandinavians trained here but the illusive master only personally taught for one year - finding the commitment tiring and onerous. It’s said that he was difficult to please, urging his students to strive for originality rather than simply fit in with current trends. Each week he’d critique various works, which many found nerve-shattering but rewarding.

Many of the Swedish ‘modernists’, such as Isaac Grünewald, trained with Matisse and in 1909 made their debut in Stockholm. At this early point in his career, Wahlström was surrounded by creative spirits and thrust into an electrifying array of new ideas. His style generally balances the freedoms, usually associated with modernism, with a degree of constraint. And his still lifes, in particular, are quite traditional in their approach.

Here, in this swirling piece from 1914, he’s captured an expansive view with an evocative sky peppered with broken clouds. The subject is Älvsborg Fortress, a coastal fortification completed seven years earlier. Its purpose was to protect the Port of Gothenburg and the Swedish Navy from sea attacks.

Aside from the Académie Matisse, Filip Artur Wahlström also trained at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Konstnärsförbundets School in Stockholm and under Carl Wilhelmson. His works are held in numerous public collections including at Gothenburg Art Museum.

Signed/dated lower left and held within a later frame.

Learn more about Filip Artur Wahlström in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 45” x 35” / 114cm x 89cm
Year of creation: 1914
Provenance: Private collection, Sweden.
Condition: Assessed and approved by our conservator. Frame with light wear.
Our reference: BRV1801

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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