Wednesday 21 March 2012

Tor Otto Fredlin: a Swedish colorist

Tor Otto Fredlin
(1890 Härnösand - 1955 Lund)

Swedish painter of animals, mainly common birds.
Book illustrator and birdwatcher.

Tor Fredlin's wwweb biography (in Swedish only) telling us he tried many occupations like taxidermist, animal breeder etc., before entering in Stockholm’s Athins Art Academy (painter school) in 1910, later continuing his artistic education in France. 
He travelled to Germany and France from 1924 and exhibited extensively in Sweden between 1915-1924 later working as an illustrator for many classic and well known (Scandinavian) children’s books and a Swedish version of the famous "Brehm's Tierleben" encyclopdia.
What I like most about Fredlin’s paintings are his keen observations of our commonest of garden guests: Robin, Blue Tit, Titmouse, Linnet etc. Always showing their natural behaviour, movement and surroundings. The many different and often difficult perspectives, I'm convinced, can only be observed and sketched by a trained and very loving eye. 
So, Tor Fredlin has much in common with those two German bird loving artists Emil Pottner (1872-1942) and Friedrich Lissmann (1880-1915) whom I showed to you earlier in the Blog (use the Blogs search option or the links). Fredlin also always staying faithful to his subjects, never cheating, bending or placing them into more easy drawing postures. His birds seem totally careless, unaware, absorbed, busy and blended into natural surroundings. Behaving the way they normaly do making them so true and easily recognizable. 
The combination of his subjects and his very appealing, fresh and original color pallet is turning each and every one of his paintings into a little gem.  Fredlin could be described as a Scandinavian colorist and even after a century his bird paintings are quite irresistible, comforting and a joy to study. His  paintings hardly ever show up outside Sweden.
 (All pictures are mouse clickable: You should !)
I searched the www. and selected this compilation for sharing and hope you’ll enjoy them as much.    


  1. his colors are scrumptious! as is his delicacy.

    did you by any chance use google image search for those NOIDs in the two more recent posts?

  2. I'm glad you like them as much as I do Lily. I Googled both prints ("Kraijna" and "sparrows" in may spellings and combinations but failed sofar)

  3. I really love the fourth image on this page - the moody painting of the two ducks in the wooded stream - and was hoping to find out more about it. What's the name of the piece? Is it an illustration from a book or one of a series of paintings? Is it available as a print? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    1. To my surprise I found this painting was still for sale in Ebay in march 2013. I do not know if it was sold or the offer expired.