01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Richard Bergh’s Lady with a fan, with Footnotes. #169

Richard Bergh, (1858-1919)
Lady with a fan, c. 1883.

64 x 48 cm.
Private collection

Sven Richard Bergh (1858-1919) was a Swedish painter, art critic and museum manager. Despite many years in France, he remained unattracted to Impressionism, preferring instead the Naturalism of painters such as Jules Bastien-Lepage. He also rejected the idea of creating landscapes en plein aire.

Both of his parents were artists and, presumably, his first teachers. He began his formal studies from 1878 to 1881, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. His first works were scenes from Swedish history, painted in the Academic style. In 1881, he went to Paris. His first exhibition at the Salon came in 1883 and he completed his studies in 1884.

The following year he became members of the Nordic art colony at Grez-sur-Loing. That same year, he joined with the Swedish artists who became known as the opponents (Opponenterna); a group that was protesting what they felt were the outmoded teaching methods at the Academy. Shortly after, they created the Artists’ Association (Konstnärsförbundet). 

In 1893, Bergh and his family moved to Varberg,. . He found himself more attracted to Romantic Nationalism; a predilection that was strengthened by a stay in Italy from 1897 to 1898, where the art he observed impressed him as representing exactly the opposite. 

Richard Berghs väg, a street in Södra Ängby, Stockholm, was named after him. More on Richard Bergh

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