BAUER, JOHN. 1882-1918.
"Ragmund ställde ljusastaken med de över" [Ragmund placed the candlestick with the candles, which illuminated seven kingdoms, on the main altar,] ink, pencil and some watercolor, 200 x 203 mm, signed and dated "John Bauer 1910" upper left. Matted and framed (unexamined out of frame).
Published: "Svartjätten och den heliga ljusastaken" ("The Black Giant and the Holy Candlestick") in Bland Tomtar och Troll 4 (Stockholm: Åhlén & Åkerlunds Förlag, 1910).
A contemporary of Arthur Rackham, Edmond Dulac and Kay Nielson, John Bauer was one of the greatest of 20th Century illustrators. His most celebrated work appeared in the fairy tale Christmas annual Bland Tomtar och Troll (1907-1918). Although best known for his pictures of grotesque and comic trolls and giants, he also explored the heroic aspects of Scandinavian folklore as in this handsome picture for the 1910 volume. His wife often posed for him and may have stood in for Alvsol here. He died tragically when the ferry he was traveling in with his wife and two-year-old son was shipwrecked, and all three perished. Young Gustaf Tenggren succeeded him as the chief illustrator of Bland Tomtar och Troll.