Nils Blommér

Born in Blommeröd, Öveds parish, Scania, as Nils Jakob Olsson on 12 June 1816, Blómmer was a Swedish painter, who began his career at age 20  painting portraits as an apprentice under the painters Sven Bremberg and then Sven Olsson in Lund, where he achieved some success. He also received instruction in drawing by the academy master Magnus Körner there.  In the Spring of 1839, he moved to Stockholm, where he took the name Blommér and enrolled in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. After winning several medals, including the Ribbingska medal in 1842, the Tessinska medal in 1843, the Duke Medal in 1844 and the Chancellor's medal in 1845 and 1846, among others, he received a large grant in 1847 to travel abroad, which was extended twice.

Best known for his paintings of figures from folk tales and folk songs,  Blómmer became a leading force in Stockholm, in association with the Artist's Guild formed in 1846, which set out to create "a nobler national art." In 1847, he traveled abroad on a scholarship and made his way through Germany, spending time with one of the nation's most prominent romantic painters, Moritz von Schwind— a leader in the popular movement. During his two-month stay in Germany, Blómmer took the opportunity to acquaint himself with several of Schwind's work on fairies, nymphs, nixies, and other folktale creatures.  In his satchel, besides Tegnér's "Frithiof's saga", he also carried A. A. Afzelius' "Swenska Folkets Sagohäfder", which he studied extensively during quiet hours.

Blómmer's dreams of a national art, founded on the people's own native imagination, began to take concrete form, first in 1849, with the canvas "Älvdrömmen", owned by Director R. Dickson, Gothenburg.  Blómmer further studied in Paris at Leon Cognief's studio, and later in Rome, where he married his wife, the painter Edla Gustafva Jansson in November 1852. Before embarking on the trip to Italy, he sent home two more paintings with Nordic subjects, namely "Näcken and Ägir's daughters" and "Älvdansen" (both in the National Museum), the latter canvas strongly influenced by a painting with the same subject by von Schwind. Finally, he had prepared a draft of another painting with a fairy tale motif, namely "Asgårdsreia". Blómmer did not intend merely to create national subjects, he intended them to symbolize the four seasons: Älvdansen — Spring, Älvdrömmen — Summer, Näcken and Ägir's daughters — Autumn and Asgårdsreia — Winter. He passed away in Rome from a fatal lung infection, a few months after his marriage, dying on 1 February 1853.

1845 Heimdall Returns the necklace Brising to Freyja
Heimdal öfverlemnar till Freja smycket Brysing

Heimdal and Freya Sketch

Loki and Sigyn

1849 Asgard-Ride

1846 Idun and Bragi

1850 The Elf-Dance or Meadow Elves
Älv-dansen or Ängs-älvor

1850 The Nixie and Ægir's Daughters
Näcken och Ägirs döttrar

1852 Freyja Seeking Her Husband
Freja sökande sin make