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23 September 2019


The other day in the office Carl Larsson was mentioned and Lydia and Rosie looked a bit blank. Even though he was on the Post in May of last year (the 14th-18th). This lacuna must be remedied! On the Post this week – Karin Larsson. She was a painter in her own right, a huge influence on and supporter of her husband Carl. Nowadays in fact it is she who is credited with creating ‘the Swedish style’ – and all of her painting and decorating and ‘styling’  (but of course her style was instinctive) happened while bringing up the children and running the house, the famous house Lilla Hyttnas at Sundborn which is now open to the public (cf. the website here). It was given to them in 1888 as a summer house and became their permanent home in 1901. ‘The old plain house was turned into an elaborately designed and decorated summer retreat redolent of the virtuous (and pre-industrial) Swedish past, its style combining elements of folk and “Viking” design with the more elegant Gustavian taste of the late eighteenth century while also being completely modern. But Lilla Hyttnas was more than just architecture and decoration, it was a whole way of life, informal and family centred… After the publication of the Ett hem (A Home) watercolours the Larssons’ vision of summer came to be adopted by the whole of Sweden’ (p. 3 Carl and Karin Larsson published by the V & A in 1997 to coincide with a Larsson exhibition).

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