Thursday, August 17, 2017

Prince Eugen of Sweden dead at 82

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 August 17, 1947

Prince Eugen of Sweden died today at his villa, Waldermarsudde, of a heart attack, report the New York Times.  He was 82.   He was "taken seriously ill" with a heart ailment on his birthday on August 1.

Sweden is in mourning for the "popular prince,  who was regarded as "one of the country's most foremost painters."  He also owned one of the "best collections of paintings" in Sweden.

Prince Eugen Napoleon Nicolaus, Duke of Närke, was the fourth son of King Oscar II and Queen Sophia, and the youngest brother of King Gustaf V.

His artistic talents were discovered early in life, although his "boyhood dream of an artist's career" was not encouraged by the "conservative circles" at the Swedish court.    He completed his education at Uppsala University, and then entered the officers' training school, where in "due course" he received a commission in the army.

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 Although Prince Eugen carried out his military duties with "commendable earnestness," he remained determined to "follow his artistic inclination."

Thanks to the support of his mother, Queen Sophia,  he was able to achieve his dream.  In the 1880s, he moved to Paris, joining the Bonnat & Gervex ateliers, where he and other young Scandinavians honed their talent to give "new impetus to the rather stagnant art" in their countries.

Prince Eugen became a "respected member of a brilliant group" of young artists who "inaugurated a new era in Swedish painting in the 1880s and 1890s.

He specialized in landscapes and never sold his work, but donated a large number of paintings to National Gallery of Sweden and other museums.  Prince Eugen would also donate his work to be auctioned for charity.

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For many years, he lived at Waldemarsudde, outside Stockholm, where he built a home.   The villa housed his private art collection, one of the "finest" in Scandinavia.

Prince Eugen was regarded as "one of the cultural leaders of modern Sweden," and "widely admired for his democratic ideals.

Prince Eugen never married.  His home is expected to become a public museum.

[I visited Waldemarsudde in July.  ]

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