Hjertén, Sigrid (1885-1948) by Scholes, Robert

Sigrid Hjertén (1885 – 1948) She was born in Sundsvall, Sweden in 1885 into an upper-class family. Her father was a lawyer. She studied at the College of Crafts and Design in Stockholm, graduated as a drawing mistress, and designed textiles for Selma Gišbel. In 1909, at a studio party, she met a young fellow-artist, Isaac Grunewald, who had already studied one year with in Paris. When he returned to Paris, she went with him, and they both studied with Matisse for a while. Returning from Paris, she discovered she was pregnant, and married Grunewald. After this she sometimes signed paintings with her married name, and is sometimes referred to using both names. She had a son, Ivan, but the marriage was never easy. Hjertén and Grunewald are often credited with bringing modernism to Sweden. Unfortunately, she suffered from mental breakdowns for most of her life, much like those of Virginia Woolf, and she finally died after a botched lobotomy. Matisse

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