Eva Badenhorst

 

My painting mainly consists of reproducing wall decorations that were common in castles and mansions in Sweden during the 18th century. I also do my own compositions based on the different expressions of the time.

Painting flowers, bows, festoons and medallions on large wall fields is a typical Nordic genre, radiating elegance as well as country charm and was developed mainly during the reign of Gustav III (1771-1792). By stretching painted linen canvases on the walls it was easy to create modern interiors in suites, halls and even in bedrooms of old as well as new houses.

Towards the end of the 18th century the painting of wall fields reached its peak, when strong basic colours made way for paler nuances with the transparency of water colours. The shimmering shades of grey with a pearly lustre also often included turquoise, orange rose, lemon yellow, lime tree green and silver blue and were transferred to bows of leaves, thin garlands, meandering ribbons, arabesques and other refined motives. The motives were taken from the classical style that King Gustav III, after a trip to Italy in 1783-1784, became very fond of. This style had a great impact on castle interior decoration in Sweden and has since then been considered genuinely Swedish and meant a lot to fashion the modern, light Swedish interiors worldwide.

I also paint different types of flowers, mainly inspired by historical works, such as the 17th century depictions by Dutch botanists of tulips, the bulbs of which created the tulip fever in Holland. I have also been delighted and inspired by the drawings and paintings of the flora that Carl von Linné and his disciples created and that can partly be seen at the Linné summer house outside Uppsala. My favourite styles are the classic Greek and Roman ones but the impressionists also have a large place in my heart.

Many of my paintings are done on old, rough tarpaulins that were once used to cover boats or farm machinery. These tarpaulins, with their heavy structure and weather beaten surfaces, give and old and genuine expression and are perfect for the dry pigment colours that are used to mix with oil glaze. Flower motives especially, I paint on finer linen canvas.