Update
27 Sep 2014

Fritz

FR

Montebello

In 1879, Fritz von Dardel (1817-1901) decided to acquire[1] the small property of Montebello near Stockholm. The land was owned by Nils von Höpken, trustee in Bogesund. Montebello was located North of Stockholm and could be reached easily from the capital by steamer.

Montebello
There were several houses surrounded by a large park and lawns. The architecture belonged to the "Swiss style" that was in fashion at the time. This style was characterised by the use of wood as a construction material and by verandas, columns, trumeaus, balconies, with details in fretted wood. The house was painted in yellow woth red panels. On the ground floor you found the eating room, the sitting room and several bedrooms, one of which was Fritz von Dardel's. He could go directly to Augusta's bedroom (his wife, born Silfversköld) using a circular staircase leading to the first floor. Of the two verandas, one was Augusta's domain and that of the other women of the family, the other was Fritz's, two separated worlds according to the customs of that time. Several bedrooms were located on the first floor.

The large family, including all grandchildren, spent happy summers there during three decades. After the death of Fritz in 1901, the family continued to live in Montebello until 1907. There were numerous visitors, all belonging to the aristocratic and bourgeois circles in which the Dardel family was at home in Stockholm. The dearest visitors were always Alexandre de Dardel, Fritz's brother, his wife Cécile, who came from Neuchâtel, and Fritz's sister Augusta Ramel (née de Dardel). The two brothers and their sister were pleased to remember their childhood in Switzerland[2]. The grandchildren were a great joy for Fritz, even more when his eyesight began to decline, which is a tragic event for a painter.

Life in Montebello was no different from the city life, which means it was comfortable according to the ideas and measurements of the Swedish "haute bourgeoisie" of the late 19th Century. Several servants saved the ladies from domestic chores. Augusta von Dardel even had her own house maid.

Noces d'or
Parties were celebrated in Montebello. The biggest one was Fritz and Augusta's golden wedding anniversary in the summer of 1896. The entire family attended the celebration, with the exception of Carl and Ebba von Dardel and their son Carlo. The happy and worriless life in Montebello is documented by photographs taken by Fritz. There are also in the family many of his watercolours and drawings immortalising the summers of the late century in Montebello.
[1] It was a 30 year lease.
[2] All three were born in Neuchâtel. In 1835, Fritz and Augusta went to Sweden, the homeland of their mother, while Louis-Alexandre settled in Saint-Blaise. See genealogy.
Text written in French by Angela Rundquist in 1975
translated, annotated and illustrated by François de Dardel in 2014

See the page on Fritz von Dardel and his works.

Family Dardel

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