Bruno Andreas Liljefors (Swedish, 1860-1939)
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Bruno Andreas Liljefors (Swedish, 1860-1939)

Red grouse in the snow

Details
Bruno Andreas Liljefors (Swedish, 1860-1939)
Red grouse in the snow
signed and dated 'Bruno Liljefors 1909' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30¾ x 39½ in. (78.3 x 100.3 cm.)
Painted in 1909
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

In contrast to the series of works which Liljefors undertook in 1906 which explored the subject of camouflage in nature, here the grouse are deliberately depicted in sharp contrast to their surroundings. For Sweden's most renowned animal painter, the emphasis has therefore shifted from an interest in the essence of life and how nature defends itself, to the depiction of a moment of unease, if not peril. Drawing on his lifelong activity as a hunter and combining this with detailed research into the portrayal of animal psychology he has rendered the bird's natural timidity and flightyness. In the International Studio magazine of 1910, Ted Hedberg recounted a conversation with the artist in which he stated that; 'We generally regard animals in the way that an inhabitant of Mars suddenly transformed to this earth would regard human beings. He would only notice the different races, types, castes, and not the individuals. Neither do we see the animal individuals, but it is just these which I try to predict. I paint animal portraits' (vol. 42, pp. 119-128). This sense of the birds being a target is enhanced by Liljefors' deliberate reduction of the field of view. With no sight of the horizon there is no sense of space into which the grouse may take flight. The resulting verticality and sense of pattern also owes a certain debt to Liljefors' earlier interest in Japanese prints and their principles of composition.
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