Nils Elias Kristofer von Dardel
— who signed Nils Dardel — is a post-impressionist Swedish painter. He was born on 25 October 1888 in Bettna (Södermanland, Sweden) and died in New York on 25 May 1943 from a heart attack. His grandfather was the painter and chamberlain of the king of Sweden, Frederick (Fritz) von Dardel.
He studies at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Arts from 1908 to 1910. He moves to Paris in 1910, and remains there most of the time until 1939. In 1940, he leaves for New York via Cuba. While in Paris, he travels to North Africa, Japan, Peru and Mexico.
His life in Paris is hectic and bohemian and dandy-like; he makes friends with a fellow Swede, Rolf de Maré, who is well-off and would later create the Ballets Suédois, for which he designs several sets. He meets with fellow artists in Montmartre and Montparnasse. In 1920, he gets secretly engaged to Nita Wallenberg. He marries Baroness Thora Klinkowström in 1921. She is a Swedish artist living in Paris as well. Modigliani made her portrait in 1918 (see below).
He tries several techniques of fellow painters: cubism (only briefly, see the Senlis "rue de Paris" below), fauvism with pure colours (see the "Black Diana"), surrealism. However, he is basically a figurative painter and produces numerous portraits, and — in the 1920s — burlesque scenes with multiple characters. In later years, he will return to a more traditional realism (see the Mexican portraits).
In the 1930s, Nils Dardel meets the writer Edita Morris (née Toll in Sweden) and shares his life — at least partially — with her until his death. One of several portraits of Edita is shown below.
Nils Dardel's paintings are shown in various museums in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Oslo and Hamburg. His most famous work, "The Dying Dandy" was sold in 1984 for the sum of 3.4 million Swedish crowns, at the time the highest price paid for a painting by a Swedish artist. The record was broken in October 2012, when the painting "Waterfall" was sold for 25 million crowns (2.9 M€ or 3.7 M$). See both works below.
See also Nils von Dardel's timeline (PDF).
Click on each thumbnail for a larger version and details of the picture. The works are sorted by date.
Some of the dates are approximate: I determined these based on the artist's style.
Dandy with sword
Girl in blue
Portrait of boy
Elsa von Dardel
Street in Senlis
Church in Senlis
Maurice Rostand (2)
Street in Senlis
David and Goliath
Rolf de Maré
In the trench
Tourists in Teneriffa
Black and white
Boy and girl
Dance with Death
Venus and Cupid
A sitting man
Lucienne and her mirror
A heart in flames
Two young ladies
The fortune teller
Mexican girl with boy
Funeral in Senlis
Street in Paris
Hotel in Rättvik
The dying dandy 1
The dying dandy 2
Mid summer night
Ingrid von Dardel
by Ivan Constantin
by Marie Laurencin
A work by
Ingrid von Dardel
189 works shown here.
A few photographs
Nils & Thora rue Lepic
Terrace rue Lepic
Nils and Ingrid
R. de Maré & J. Börlin
Nils in 1930
- Wikipedia's article about Nils von Dardel (which used much of my own data).
- A very detailed biography in Swedish on Riksarkivet.
- Several interesting biographical texts (in Swedish, open in a new window).
- A blog page on Nils Dardel, signed Rebecca (in Swedish).
- Other pages on Nils and Thora Dardel, rue Lepic in Montmartre, in the 1920's (in Swedish).
- A collection of several works with a description, still in Swedish; the individual pictures (low resolution) can be downloaded.
- Valdo Barbey, a Parisian painter of the same period, with a rather different style.
- Fritz von Dardel, Nils Dardel's grandfather, cartoonist, painter, and (notwithstanding) officer at the royal court of Sweden.
- Nils in the Dardel Genealogy pages.
- Modern painters of my own virtual museum.
- Nils Ekwall's page. The grandson of Nils Dardel is also a Swedisn painter.
- In French, poems by Jean Pellerin, who was seen in the same cafés as Nils in Paris around 1920.
- My virtual museum, a small collection of the works I like.
If you have more pictures of this artist, or if you dicover errors in this page, send me a note:
The music you are hearing if you have clicked on the small icon at the top of this page is "Minor swing", by Django Reinhart.
This page was prepared by François de Dardel.