John Bauer

Illustrations from  the German Translation of
Viktor Rydberg's Fädernas Gudasaga
 as Die Göttersage der Väter
Translated into German by Josef Hiersche

The 10 black and white images were used again in the 2003 translation
by William P. Reaves titled "
Our Fathers' Godsaga

  Color Plate from the Cover
  As a Swedish painter and illustrator, John Bauer produced portraits, landscapes, and illustrations for books and magazines. He is best known for his illustrations in early editions of Bland Tomtar och Troll ("Among Gnomes and Trolls"), an anthology of Swedish folklore. Bauer was born and raised in Jönköping. He studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, where he received his first commissions to illustrate books and magazines. While there, he met and married fellow artist Ester Ellqvist in 1906, who became the model for many of his storybook princesses. At age 36, Bauer, Ester and their young son, Bengt, tragically drowned in a shipwreck on Lake Vättern.

John Bauer and Ester Ellqvist

Bauer traveled widely early in his career, throughout Lappland, Germany and Italy,  cultures which influenced his work. He produced oil paintings, portraits and frescos, but the bulk of his works were illustrations primarily in watercolor, monochrome or muted colors.  As the sole surviving print in color from this set, the cover plate for Viktor Rydberg's Die Göttersage der Väter indicates that the remainder of these illustrations were originally in color as well. They were published in black and white, however, and the originals were destroyed in a fire, so we may never know what they looked like. Full color images of some of  Bauer's other works are found below to give an idea what the artist may have intended.
The Ring (1914)



  Colorized version by Guddipoland at Deviant Art



Colorized Image from Zazzle
Cover Art

The following examples show Bauer's sense of color
and attention to fine detail.

Oil sketch of Freyja (1905)

The Princess in the Forest (1915)

 Into the Wide World (1907)