Sven Erixson

Sven Leonard Erixson (Tumba, Sweden 1899 – Saltsjöbaden, Sweden 1970) was a Swedish painter and sculptor. Affectionately known as “X-et” (X), he left an indelible mark on the Swedish art scene during the 20th century.
Erixson’s path to becoming a respected artist was a long and challenging one. He started his artistic journey as an apprentice to a master painter at the age of 14. As his passion for art grew, he honed his skills in decorative painting. Simultaneously, he took on the role of a drawing instructor at the Konstfack. A pivotal moment in his artistic education came when he spent a year at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. Notably, he later returned to the academy as a Professor of painting from 1943 to 1953.
Erixson’s body of work is a testament to his diverse talents. His paintings often featured landscapes with figures, infused with motifs from sunny southern locales. He also had a knack for capturing the essence of urban life and maritime scenes. His repertoire extended to intimate interiors and delicate floral compositions. In the last decade of his life, his work changed and he paintings became increasingly abstracted.
His artistic inspiration ranged from Medieval Folk art to the spirited strokes of German Expressionism. Erixson’s love for travel greatly influenced his work, drawing inspiration from Spain and the south of France. During his travels, he sought out the works of both old masters and contemporary artists, including Goya and Velazquez at the Museo del Prado, El Greco in Toledo, and Paul Klee, Lovis Corinth, Gustav Klimt, and Egon Schiele at the Bavarian National Museum.
Erixson holds a very significant place among Sweden’s modern painters, with his works displayed in most Swedish art museums. In 1932, he co-founded the artist-led gallery ‘Color and Shape’ (Färg och Form). His artistic pursuits extended beyond easel painting, including the creation of frescoes in the Holy Cross Chapel at Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm (1938 to 1940) and a significant fresco in the town hall of Huddinge (1948 to 1949), where he incorporated his childhood memories of the railroad town. Erixson’s creative endeavors also involved theatrical decor, such as his work on Garcia Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” in 1944 and his costume sketches for “Aniara” in 1959.

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