Richard Bergh | Nordic summer's evening

Nordic summer's evening, 1899-1900
Swedish painter Sven Richard Bergh was born in Stockholm at the end of 1858. He was the son of the Johan Edvard Bergh, who formerly spent time as a lawyer before devoting his life to his landscape painting and becoming an art teacher. His mother was also an artist and so their son was introduced to art at a very early age. The family were wealthy and mixed with the cultural elite of Stockholm. Sven Berg studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm. He travelled on many occasions to France, often to escape the exacting academicism of that art establishment, where he visited the artist’s colony at Grez-sur-Loing just south of Fontainebleau. The colony was modelled on another famous Parisian artist colony at Barbizon, which was set up some thirty years earlier. Grez-sur-Loing was the home of En Plein Air painters and artists from around the world descended on this colony. The 1880’s saw the arrival in the colony of many Scandanavian artists. It was whilst in France that Berg was strongly influenced by the French En Plein Air method of painting and the French Symbolist movement. Berg became an established portrait painter but was equally praised for his landscape works. In the 1890′s he was in the forefront of Swedish Romanticism movement in art. He went on to set up an art academy and wrote many books on the subject of art. He became director of the National Museum of Art in Stockholm in 1915. Sven Richard Bergh died in 1919 aged 60.

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