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1896: Scales in nude

Albert Engström, Gustaf Fröding and Verner von Heidenstam
Albert Engström, Gustaf Fröding and Verner von Heidenstam in Sandhamn

"Verner von Heidenstam, Gustaf Fröding and I as forest gods in Sandhamn's riverside forest", writes the third poet, Albert Engström, about the above photo in his book Bouppteckning.

Verner von Heidenstam (1859-1940), Gustaf Fröding (1860-1911) and Albert Engström (1869-1940), three of our great Swedish sculptors and artists, were also friends with each other. At least so close friends that they happily hung out, jumping naked in Sandhamns beach forests.

Today there are The Gustaf Fröding Society, The Albert Engström Society and Heidenstamsällskapet, all of whom work to pass on the life's work and memory of each person to new generations. Please visit the societies' websites and get to know Gustaf, Verner and Albert a little better. Their works are worth remembering and reading.

Gustaf Fröding and Verner von Heidenstam in the water
Gustaf Fröding and Verner von Heidenstam in the water

Fröding was the Swedish bard of my youth. The contemporary Swedish poets who have meant the most to me in my mature years are Hjalmar Gullberg and Nils Ferlin. I don't ask the question which was the greatest poet of the two. Poets are incommensurable greatnesses.

Vilhelm Moberg, Stories from my life, s. 269.
Heidenstam, Fröding and Engström
Happy days at Sandhamn. Heidenstam and Fröding pose with Albert Engström in the background

It lies, when portrayed gravel
gets the name of art and imagination.
A vision that floats fair and bright
in the sky, is true as mirage.

But nonsense is nonsense and snuff is snuff,
albeit in golden doses,
and roses in a cracked mug
are still always roses.

All three photographs are reportedly taken from The Birger Mörner Collection. Birger Mörner (1867-1930) was a Swedish count, diplomat, author and traveller who collected many old and rare books and photographs during his travels, which are today held by the Örebro University Library. The collection contains around 8000 books.

Crayfish require these drinks
"Crabs Demand These Drinks!", the No side's most famous election poster during the The referendum on the ban on alcoholic beverages in Sweden 1922 is made by Albert Engström

I have long since stopped hating - if I ever did. You can't hate stupid people! What do we know of the powers that brought men to their stupidity? However, I believe that humour can be used as a weapon against all illogic. For true humour can never hurt, because it emanates from a character who loves everything on earth and sees life even in decay and death. He who is wounded by humour is a deplorable creature, who ought really to be put to death painlessly, for he can fill no place on this earth worthily, because he is a madman, and madmen can be dangerous. I am self-conscious enough to believe that this reasoning is somewhat logical, at least to people with a sense of humour, and others I care very little about.

Albert Engström

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