Josabeth Sjöberg
Guy Lochhead, 10/03/12
[From]Also known as ‘Mamsell’, Sjöberg (1812-1882) was born in Stockholm to a father who was an office worker and who educated his only daughter in art and music at home. Her parents both died when Sjöberg was in her early twenties and as a result it was necessary for her to earn money through being a music governess. Like many women of that era, Sjöberg occupied herself in her free time with ‘feminine pastimes’. Her interest specifically became drawing and painting her surroundings. The rooms that she and her students lived in, the view of the landscape from her windows and the people she experienced around her, carrying out their day-to-day are the main source of inspiration for her work. Sjöberg’s paintings are really beautiful – perfect examples of the importance of “naive art”, and what it can tell us – and they have historical value too, as a window into the private life of a middle class nineteenth century Swedish woman. I would like to take the simple but detailed aesthetic of her work, but I don’t think that is enough for it to be included in itself.

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