stockholm

Nils Dardel, Den döende dandyn (The Dying Dandy), 1918, oil on canvas, 55 × 70 7/8".

Nils Dardel

Moderna Museet | Stockholm

Nils Dardel, Den döende dandyn (The Dying Dandy), 1918, oil on canvas, 55 × 70 7/8".

The January 1917 inaugural edition of flamman (The Flame), the Swedish art magazine founded by Georg Pauli, featured some of the artists who were by then already established as quintessential modernists, from Picasso to Kandinsky. Yet there were fresh names, too, including the Swedish painter Nils Dardel; among his better-known peers in the issue, Picabia is the one to whom he seems closest. And just as Dardel bumped up against Picabia’s style, the French artist seems to have caught Dardel fever in later works such as The Idol, 1940–41. “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary”: Cecil Beaton’s famous imperative might as well have been a description of Dardel. The painter had a knack not just for keeping himself and his

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