Christine Sundberg

Sweden / 1837 - 1892 / wikipedia /
Photo by John Dryselius

Born 5 Feb.1837, Kalmar; died 20 Jan. 1892, Paris.
Studied at the Kunstakademi in Stockhom and Düsseldorf; also with Collin and Courtois in Paris.

For Sundberg, art was not just a hobby. It was the profession she chose and it would be her life. She lived at a time when female artists, even moreso than today, had to work hard; it was an uphill battle to be accepted.

...She lived in Paris at the time Impressionism began.... Over time her work gradually changed from a darker, genre-based style represented by the so-called Dusseldorf school, with perfect surfaces and invisible brushstrokes, to the beginnings of modernism, where colors and painting described the world.

Born in Kalmar in 1837 to a wealthy, culturally-minded family. Father Carl Peter Sundberg owned the Swars tobacco factory. At 20, Christine went to Stockholm to study at Elise Brandt's Drawing and Painting Institute for Young Fruntimmer.

In 1864, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts opened a department for female students for the first time. Christine was one of 19 women who enrolled in the first year. During her studies she was awarded several medals for her work.

Three years later, she traveled to Düsseldorf for further studies and the following year to Paris, where she continued to train, including at Académie Colarossi, and work as an artist. In 1878 and 1889 she exhibited at the World Exhibitions in Paris and on four occasions she was chosen to attend the Parisian Hall, which at the time was very prestigious. She painted mostly portraits and still lifes. In Paris, she also became an important support for other female artists. Her career as an artist ended when her vision became impaired; instead she taught copying and preservation. She worked in that capacity for both the Louvre and the French state. She died in Paris in 1892 at age 55.
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Suzan Hamer


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