Helmer Osslund

The lonely birch by the river

The artwork is sold. Contact us if you have an interest in similar artworks.


Helmer Osslund (1866–1938) was born in the area of ​​Sundsvall, but it was the encounter with Lapland's mountain massif and the magnificent wilderness expanses in blazing autumn colors that marked his artistry. Osslund is an interesting link between 19th-century landscape painting and 20th-century burgeoning modernism. He studied with Paul Gauguin, which he was the only one from the Swedish side to do. Gauguin with his undulating plateau landscapes left his mark on Osslund and his color palette with its pure, fiery colors. Where the landscapes become an exotic symphony. Osslund gave Norrland a face with his expressive expressions and dramatic landscapes. In 1909, his breakthrough came after an exhibition in Stockholm. All works were sold, including to Anders Zorn who bought four sketches for himself. His painting is close to modernism, and was a role model for Leander Engström, among others. Together they did wilderness studies. Osslund is one of our foremost Norrland portrayers.

Object description: A study of "The lonely birch by the river", where the river with its valley can be considered the source of life. A collective fertility with pastures and water supply. The tree as a link between heaven and earth in a broader sense gives life and grows in a constant struggle through life, and can be seen through the tree as a pointer to the passage of time. Where the belief in the magical power of trees - the tree was considered to be in contact with "its" human, and depending on how the tree grew it would give a hint of the human's future. The clear boundary between heaven and earth can be seen at the crown of "The Lonely Birch", it can be seen as a sign of alchemy. The color spectrum that surrounds the top of the birch possesses a captivating aura of light. An enchanting story about the meaning of life, overcoming the fears and prejudices that can stand in the way, where the tree and nature are the cathedral of the higher world.

Technique: Oil on panel
Size: 61 x 46 cm incl. frame (43 x 30 cm excl. frame)

Delivery information


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The calendar is filled with exciting exhibitions and is continuously updated. In Linköping there is approximately one exhibition a month, alternatively we participate in various fairs. In addition, we have collaborations with seasonal exhibitions in several locations around the country. Click in to see what's happening!




Galleri Melefors represents a dozen or so contemporary artists, carefully selected to complement each other and be free to blossom within their own niche. All are names we see as both current and very interesting for the future within their niches.