Gunnar Lampa

Twilight Over Riddarholmen, Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Gunnar Lampa

Twilight Over Riddarholmen, Gamla Stan, Stockholm

This early 20th-century oil painting by Swedish artist Gunnar Lampa (1873-1952) depicts Riddarholmen, Stockholm at twilight. It transposes the skyline into atmospheric hues and renders the dominant buildings in near silhouette.

As the evening sun slips behind the horizon akin to a distant fireball, its final embers alight the pointed architecture of three historic churches. The light effects are dramatic, yet Lampa creates a sense of tranquillity via misty gradients. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. In the foreground, the usually vibrant waterfront is subdued in muted tones.

Can you imagine the light falling over the city before disappearing completely?

Riddarholmen is located in the old part of Stockholm and its skyline is punctuated by three churches. To the left, the Tyska Kyrka, on the right, the Storkyrkan, and towards the centre, the Riddarholmskyrkan. Lampa often produced views of the Swedish capital and would’ve known this area well.

Stylistically, it’s reminiscent of Claude Monet’s evocative renderings of the Houses of Parliament, London, which were produced around 20 years earlier. Monet emphasised feeling over architectural detail and Lampa was probably inspired. We also see the influence of one of his tutors, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).

Gunnar Lampa trained in Stockholm and later at Whistler’s Académie Carmen in Paris.

Signed/dated lower left and held within a 20th-century coved frame, probably original.

Learn more about Gunnar Lampa in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 32” x 27” / 82cm x 69cm
Year of creation: 1923
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £3,692

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