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Riddarfjärden, Stockholm

Eugen Jansson's painting of the large expanse of water in central Stockholm known as Riddarfjärden uses the blues and purples that are so typical of his work from this period. He is even known by some as the "blue painter". His artist colleagues and friends knew his as paraffin Jansson because his blue paintings made them think of the warm light from paraffin lamps. His bold brushwork in dark colours and his striving to portray his feelings and impressions suggest a strong influence from Edvard Munch whose work Jansson saw at an exhibition in Stockholm in 1884. Eugen Jansson's paintings are stylized. There are no people in them. They differ from the lively portrayals of modern urban life produced by the impressionists whose paintings are full of people in tune with modern life; the life of the boulevards, the department stores and the theatres. Eugene Jansson's views of Stockholm instead reflect the moods of the city – an interior as well as an exterior landscape. In the painting, Riddarfjärden is seen from the artist's own studio on Mariaberget. Jansson spent the whole of his life in Stockholm. Unlike most of his colleagues from the Academy he did not go to Paris to study. He remained in Sweden, creating his highly personal impressions of Stockholm and its soul seen from his studio high up above the water.