“Home, sweet home” is everyone’s dream, a frequently used, popular title for novels and TV dramas. Swedish artist Carl Larsson was famous for his paintings depicting this theme. His works are like a model example of a happy family living in a beautiful home.
Larsson’s “Getting Ready for a Game” features the wife and two young daughters in the kitchen. On top of the large table, there are a vase, a light, a beverage tray, bowls full of fruit and snacks and a fine china set. The children seated at the table gaze at the spectators of the painting with bright expressions. The wife who stands in front of the shelf on the right side is stretching her hand toward a liquor bottle. Benedictine liquor is likely to be the last ornament to be used on the table. Candles and a card are placed at the back of the table. As the title of the painting suggests, a game of cards is about to begin, which is why the children’s eye are shining. Dinnerware on the shelves, neatly organized household goods, plenty of food on the able, simple but comfortable furniture and beautiful decorations represent happiness of the family.
For Larsson, who grew in poverty and abuse by his father, an affluent and loving family had always been his dream. His wife, Karin, was the one who helped realized his dream and encouraged his career when he was unsuccessful after studying art in Paris. He loved to spend time with Karin, who inherited an old country house from her father, fixing the house. They raised eight children in this home. Whenever a new child came along, they designed and made their own furniture. It was also Karin who urged him to draw paintings of the family.
Larsson published a book of paintings of his home, which became a best-seller, and his house became the most famous house in Northern Europe. The picture of his house became the standard for Swedish interior design and the model of Swedish furniture maker IKEA. Later, Larsson wrote in his autobiography that his family and home were the best masterpieces of his life.