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Article

Sixten Ringbom

(Valdemar) [Gallén, Axel until 1904]

(b Pori [Swed. Björneborg], Finland, April 26, 1865; d Stockholm, March 7, 1931).

Finnish painter, graphic artist and designer. He learnt the elements of drawing and painting in Helsinki at the School of the Finnish Arts Society and the studio of the painter Adolf von Becker (1831–1909).

His first significant painting, The Boy and the Crow (1884; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.), shows his ambition to keep abreast of developments in Naturalism, a style introduced to him through the works of young Finnish and Scandinavian painters in Paris. In the autumn of 1884 he arrived in Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian and the studio of Fernand Cormon. In 1885 he completed his oil painting Old Woman with a Cat (Turku, A. Mus.), a veristic study of poverty and deprivation. Gallén’s single-figure compositions of this period followed a formula exploited by Jean-François Millet, Jules Breton and Jules Bastien-Lepage. In these seemingly static images, the life story of the protagonist was suggested through significant attributes, physiognomic elaboration and background details....

Article

Torsten Gunnarsson

(b Kalmar, Oct 11, 1858; d Stockholm, May 11, 1930).

Swedish painter, draughtsman and illustrator. From 1874 he studied at the Konstakademi in Stockholm, where he soon became a friend of Richard Bergh and Karl Nordström, both of whom were later prominent exponents of the more advanced Swedish painting of the 1880s and 1890s. After being forced to interrupt his studies because of illness, Kreuger trained from 1878 at the art school of Edvard Perséus (1841–90) in Stockholm before he travelled to Paris, where he stayed for the most part until 1887. He made his début at the Paris Salon in 1882, and he also resided in the artists’ colony in Grez-sur-Loing. During this period he painted such works as Old Country House (1887; Stockholm, Nmus.) with a free brushwork and sense of light that owed much to Jules Bastien-Lepage. In 1885 Kreuger was active in organizing the Opponenterna, a protest movement led by Ernst Josephson against the conservative establishment of the Konstakademi in Stockholm, and the following year he helped to found the ...

Article

Virginia Button

(b Cambridge, Dec 25, 1917; d London, Jan 20, 1957).

English painter and illustrator. He attended St John’s Wood School of Art from 1935 to 1938. A celebrity of London’s bohemia and a key figure of Neo-Romanticism in the 1940s, he lived and worked with most of the younger generation Neo-Romantics including Michael Ayrton (1921–76), Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde and Keith Vaughan. Invalided out of the army in 1943, he devoted himself to art, producing work for seven one-man shows between 1945 and 1956.

Minton’s eclectic style combined elements of French and British Neo-Romanticism. His main theme, partly homoerotic, was the young male figure in emotionally charged settings. Five phases in his work have been identified, ranging from landscapes reminiscent of those of Samuel Palmer, for example Recollections of Wales (1944; Brit. Council; for illustration see Neo-Romanticism), to scenes of urban decay, such as Rotherhithe from Wapping (1946; Southampton, C.A.G.). In the post-war years he was attracted to exotic places in search of new subjects....