Strömkarlen och "Hvad tjenar konsten till?" : Programförklaring i två delar, av Ernst Josephson
The purpose of this essay is to investigate modern influence in the painting Strömkarlen, by Ernst Josephson. Strömkarlen was painted 1884 in Norway. First the essay performed an investigation of earlier researchers statements to establish a ”common truth” that puts the painting in a realistic/naturalistic-romantic context. With the help of Yve-Alain Bois’ model, where he sees art from the painters point of wiew, it was possible to use two articles, written by Ernst Josephson in the fall of 1884, where he debates the conditions for art and artists in Sweden. By combining visual and textual interpretation, using a historical context, it is possible to see modern influence in Strömkarlen. Ernst Josephson wanted free and subjective art and artists, in opposition to the state controlled art system that existed in Sweden in the end of 19th century. Strömkarlen and the articles can also be seen as a combined proclamation for a new, free and modern art and what it could look like in a Scandinavian context.
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