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Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter and interior designer. Larsson was born in PrÃ¤stgatan the old town in Stockholm. His parents were extremely poor and his childhood was not happy. Carl's artistic talent was probably inherited from his grandfather on his mother's side, who was a painter by trade. However, at the age of thirteen, his teacher Jacobsen, at the school for poor children urged him to apply to the "principskola" of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and he was admitted. During his first years there, Larsson felt socially inferior, confused, and shy. In 1869, at the age of sixteen, he was promoted to the "antique school" of the same academy. There Larsson gained confidence, and even became a central figure in student life. Carl earned his first medal in nude drawing. During the mean time, Larsson worked as a caricaturist for the humorous paper Kasper and as graphic artist for the newspaper Ny Illustrerad Tidning. After several years working as an illustrator of books, magazines, and newspapers, Larsson moved to Paris in 1877, where he spent several frustrating years as a hardworking artist without any success. Larsson was not eager to establish contact with the French progressive impressionists; instead, along with other Swedish artists, he cut himself off from the radical movement of change. After spending two summers in Barbizon, the refuge of the plein-air painters, he settled down with his Swedish painter colleagues in 1882 in Grez-sur-Loing, at a Scandinavian artists' colony outside Paris. It was there that he met the artist Karin BergÃ¶Ã¶, who soon became his wife. This was to be a turning point in Larsson's life. In Grez, Larsson painted some of his most important works, now in watercolour and very different from the oil painting technique he had previously employed. Carl and Karin Larsson had eight children and his family became Larsson's favourite models. In 1888 the young family was given a small house, named Little HyttnÃ¤s. Through Larsson's paintings and books this house has become one of the most famous artist's homes in the world. Larsson's popularity increased considerably with the development of colour reproduction technology in the 1890s, when the Swedish publisher Bonnier published books written and illustrated by Larsson and containing full colour reproductions of his watercolours. The print runs of these rather expensive albums did not come close to that produced in 1909 by the German publisher Karl Robert Langewiesche. His choice of watercolours, drawings and text by Carl Larsson, titled Das Haus in der Sonne (The House in the Sun), immediately became one of the German publishing industry's best-sellers of the year.
Larsson also drew several sequential picture stories, thus being one of the earliest Swedish comic creators. Carl Larsson considered his monumental works, such as his frescos in schools, museums and other public buildings, to be his most important works.
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