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Anna Boberg

Painting the Arctic Summer

3 June - 30 August 2024

Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm, or by appointment

Painting the Arctic Summer

“In no other place are the calms so absolute, the storms so terrific. The sun shines at midnight, and it is night at noon. From one moment to another the landscape changes: storms burst suddenly without any warning; fogs almost palpable in their density hide the world away in an instant.”

– Anna Boberg, Envar sitt ödes lekboll (1934)


In 1901, the Swedish painter Anna Boberg (1864-1935) visited the Lofoten Islands off the north-west coast of Norway for the first time. This was the first of many visits to take place over the ensuing thirty years. A largely self-taught painter, Boberg achieved significant international acclaim during her lifetime. Notably, her work was featured at the Venice Biennale in 1907 and the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. In the Exhibition of Contemporary Scandinavian Art in 1912-13 she was the only female artist whose work was exhibited. Among her most sought-after paintings were scenes of the Norwegian Arctic landscape. Gouache and watercolour sketches, oil paintings, and photographs all characterised these Arctic visits, many of them painted en plein air or from her Svolvær studio overlooking the mountainous coastline of the harbour.


This summer, Ben Elwes Fine Art brings together paintings and works on paper in the exhibition Anna Boberg (1864-1935), Painting the Arctic Summer. Described in recent years as “Sweden’s greatest artist”, this exhibition chronicles Boberg’s career as a landscape painter, from her early watercolour sketches of Stockholm to her oil paintings of the Arctic environment. These scenes attest to Boberg’s fascination with the effects of light and colour on the Lofoten landscape. Twilit skies and fading summer sunshine illuminate the remnants of snow on mountains’ slopes or cast speckled coloured shadows onto the boat-filled harbours. Among these are works that have not been shown to the public since the artist’s death in 1934, as well as paintings most recently shown at Prins Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, in an award-winning exhibition, Kvinnliga pionjärer – Visionära landskap (Female Pioneers – Visionary Landscapes, 2023).


The Exhibition is accompanied by a digital catalogue with essay by Dr Isabelle Gapp.

3 June – 30 August 2024

Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:30pm, or by appointment

London Art Week: 28 June – 5 July 2024

Monday to Friday,  9:30am to 5:30pm, Saturday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm

Ben Elwes Fine Art, 45 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2PE | | +44 (0)20 7629 6645  

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