• Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen auction at Christies

    Sale 7822

    Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 390

    August Strindberg (Swedish, 1849-1912)

    Torch Flower (Fackelblomster)

    Estimate

    August Strindberg (Swedish, 1849-1912)
    Torch Flower (Fackelblomster)
    signed and dated 'August Strindberg 1892' (lower left); and signed and dated again and inscribed 'August Str(...)g. 92/Dalarö' (on the stretcher)
    oil on canvas
    10 5/8 x 13 5/8 in. (26.8 x 34.7 cm.)


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    The Swedish playwright, novelist and poet August Strindberg turned to painting in the 1890s at a time when his writing, such as The Red Room and Master Olof, had already confimed him as one of the most significant if controversial figures in Scandinavian cultural life. Possessed by guilt over abandoning his family and suffering episodes of insomnia and psychosis later recorded in the novel Inferno, he sought a creative outlet in painting. He spent the summer of 1892 in Dalarö where he completed a series of about thirty seascapes including the present work. Many of these seascapes depict stormy skies and crashing waves, but in Fackelblomster Strindberg appears to have found a temporary solace in the bright blue sky, calm waters and flowering 'fackelblomster', the Purple loosestrife which is a familiar sight in the rocky Stockholm archipelago.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 25 November 1992, lot 515, where acquired by the present owner.


    Literature

    Olle Granath, August Strindberg, Painter, Photographer, Writer, London, 2005, p. 130 (illustrated).