Thursday, 8 September 2011

Swedish Venuses by Ivar Kamke

 Eftermiddagsdopp (Afternoon dip)

Agent Triple P likes a strapping Swedish girl (one in particular!) perhaps because of his genetic origins and so we thought it would be a good idea to present a few solid Swedish beauties by Ivar Kamke.

 Women bathing in coastal lanscape (1914)

Kamke (1882-1936) was a Swedish painter and graphic artist but, other than that, we haven't been able to find out much about him.  There was a book published about him in Sweden in 1931 but that seems to have been it.

His paintings are very reminiscent of his slightly older contemporary compatriot Anders Zorn featuring, as they do, realistic and non-idealised nudes by the shore and in interiors.

 Den unge pige efter badet (1919)

Like Zorn he lived close to the water but whilst Zorn was based inland in Dalecarlia, with his featured shoreline being on Lake Siljin, Kamke spent a good portion of his active life in Storängen in Nacka, about three miles south east of the centre of Stockholm.  Whilst he had a lake nearby he was also close to the coast so his ladies by the water may have been salt water or fresh water nymphs.

 Nude models (1918)

Storängen, where Kamke lived with his wife Käthe, was an area where a lot of large villas had been built around the turn of the century.  The one Kamke lived in was designed by the famous Swedish architect Carl Westman, who designed Stockholm City Hall.  Today many of these villas survive in what is a very leafy and upmarket suburb of the city.

 Nude 1916

Apart from his nudes Kamke also painted portraits and landscapes and street scenes, especially of Dutch, North African and Italian subjects.  All his work demonstrates a wonderful sense of light and colour.

Unlike Zorn, whose paintings now sell for upwards of half a million dollars, you can still pick up a  Kamke for around €4000 which seems a bargain.  After all, who wouldn't want to surround themselves with lush Swedish bathing beauties?

Ivar Kamke

Thanks to Triple P's own Swedish bathing beauty, A, for her help with this post.

Written to the music of Lars Erk Larsen's Dagens Stunder and Symphony No 1.

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