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Glowing Embers at Dusk
  • Artist Björn Ahlgrensson (Swedish, 1872 - 1918)
  • TitleGlowing Embers at Dusk
  • Dating 1903
  • Technique/MaterialOil, tempera, and charcoal on canvas
  • Dimensions83 x 120 cm
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1903
  • CategoryPainting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 0364
  • Display StatusNot shown in the museum
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
A lone woman sits lost in thought as dusk falls and the embers die in the fireplace. The whitewashed fireplace with its rounded forms dominate the room. A faint light falls from the right from a window outside the image. The fireplace and a rustic Rococo chair gleam white in the dark. The special way of layering patches of colour contributes to the impression of opalescent twilight.
It is a snug but sparsely furnished home. Long narrow rugs are laid out across the floor in straight lines. On the ochre-coloured walls hangs a violin and a painting, testimony to the importance of art in life; on the other side of the door a rifle reminds the viewer of the hunt for food. At the left edge, a door opens onto an inner room, the features of which are barely visible in the dark. In the foreground to the right sits the woman, her head resting on her left hand, her right hand lying relaxed in her lap. Deep in thought, she gazes at the dying embers. On the white table is a small book and a small bunch of blue anemones in a glass. Serene simplicity and an elegiac calm characterize the scene.
The image has something of Carl Larsson’s linear strokes, but the atmosphere is different to his Sundborn idyll. The room reverberates with a pensive melancholy; the woman seems lost in thought. Soon the embers will have gone out and the room will be cold and dark. Perhaps the subject is in fact the passage of time—the way in which day passes unnoticed into the evening, youth into old age.
The picture shows the artist’s own home in Perserud. The woman in the foreground is the artist’s wife.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014