Artboard 1
The Harryda Station – Göteborgs konstmuseum

Härryda Station

We find ourselves on a reddish-violet platform with tracks to the left and a bright station building partially obscured by dark trees to the right. It is Härryda Station in the year 1933 that we are allowed to visit through the painting. Folke Persson portrays the place as an evocative evening scene with a steep perspective.

Folke Persson, Sweden 1905–1964, Härryda Station, 1933, oil on canvas, 90 x 115 cm, Gothenburg Museum of Art, acquired in 1965, GKM 1744, photo: Hossein Sehatlou.

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Floating light sources

Several strong electric light sources illuminate the scene in the artwork. Spotlights shine as yellow floating dots in the distance above the tracks. A cold, white light flows from the station building onto the platform and tracks. There is also a natural, softer light in the sky. Against the deep blue background, some tones of violet and green emerge, resembling the clouds shortly after sunset.

Persson often focuses on the light in his paintings. In Gothenburg, he had a studio overlooking the harbor. He frequently depicted ships, cranes, and quays in a gentle light. In those works, it is evident that he placed great importance on the colour tones of water reflections and the sky, as well as various lighting effects.


Melancholic moods

A few yellow flowers or leaves stand out against the dark greenery to the right. Perhaps it is a spring or summer evening. It seems calm and quiet. The mood is unusually melancholic for a motif by Folke Persson.

The light in the scene has been accurately captured, as well as the atmosphere. The details are more suggested and difficult to determine with certainty. Persson was drawn to literary subjects, but others preferred his slightly more spontaneous images. Perhaps this is a spontaneous image. It is summarized, but relatively free from clear details.

Being on the way

Over by the station building, two vague forms can be glimpsed. Could they be people? The artist has captured the feeling of standing alone and waiting for a train in the evening, but perhaps the painting also speaks to a deeper sense of human isolation.

Railway embankments and railway motifs are a recurring theme in Persson's art. He had an attraction to means of transportation, boats, and trains, and the promise of departure to foreign places that they offer. He spent his free time in Gothenburg and Bohuslän but also went on several study trips. Alone and with friends, he set off to places both near and far.

Expressionistic Impressionist

The painting is executed fluidly with diluted paint and confident brushstrokes. The dark vegetation at the edges of the image has soft, undulating forms. The brushstrokes in the sky maintain a persistent direction, while a strict, sharp line in white gleams along the train tracks.

Persson has been described as an "expressionistic impressionist," meaning that he "expresses his impressions." Of these two directions, it can be said that his style is primarily impressionistic. Sometimes he employs heightened colours and a naive charm. He maintains a fairly solid form in his works. He often painted portraits, landscapes from Bohuslän, railway embankments, and harbor scenes from Gothenburg and Stockholm.