Elin Wallin

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Elin Wallin in Paris in 1906. Oilpainting by her husband David Wallin (1876-1957).

Elin Kristina Wallin, born on December 29, 1884 in Gothenburg, died March 25, 1969 in Stockholm, was a Swedish artist and drawer. She was the wife of the Swedish artist David Wallin (1876-1957).

Elin Wallin grew up in Ekersgatan 13 in Örebro. She was the daughter of the elementary school teacher Viktor Lundberg and his wife Anna Lundberg, born Kalling, Örebro, and sister to the famous damask weaver Carl Widlund[1][2][3] and sister to Hilda Sofia (Hild) Zetterlind-Simonsen. She was the mother of the artist Bianca Wallin (1909-2006) and of the artist Sigurd Wallin (1916-1999).


Althins målarskola (Caleb Althin's school of painting) in Stockholm. Photo from 1903. 4th from the right is Elin Wallin, born Lundberg (1884-1969).

When she had left the girls' school in Örebro Elin Wallin went to evening courses at the Technical school in Örebro in 1901-1902. In 1902 she passed the examination as a needlework mistress at Hulda Lundin's seminary in Stockholm and after that she continued her studies in 1902-1904 at Althins målarskola. Caleb Althin was the founder of Althin's school of painting, a private art school on Grevgatan 26 in Östermalm in Stockholm. For several decades the school played an important role, not least by preparing young artists for the Academy of Arts. And during the years 1902-1904 she studied in the evenings at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (in Swedish simply known as Konstfack) in Stockholm. Konstfack, sometimes also called Tekniska skolan, was at that time in the block of Beridarebanan in Norrmalm, between Klara kyrka and Hötorget. During two periods, in 1905-1906 and 1910-1911, she studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris. The school Académie Colarossi even accepted female students and allowed them to draw from the nude male model. Colarossi was as an alternative to the government-sanctioned École des Beaux Arts that had, in the eyes of many promising young artists at the time, become far too conservative. Together with her husband David Wallin she travelled for studies for longer or shorter time, to London in 1905, Paris 1905-1906 and 1910-1911, Italy 1908-1910, Germany 1905, 1906 and 1908, Denmark 1908.

Most of Elin Wallin's production wer created during the years 1902-1919. She has mainly been occupied with portraits in oil, pencil and tempera, as well as drawing and painting flowers and landscapes in oil, watercolor, pencil and charcoal. Wallin's art can, by sheer radiant colors display relations David Wallin. The landscapes and portraits of her husband, one senses perhaps more reminiscent of French impressionism. Mostly, however, her paintings carries her own mark, especially the children portraits with their bright color touches. In bright memories she tries to cling to elements of their seven children, of whom she lost two in a very early age. There are pictures from a family album, with no claim to universality, but right in the humble plea to heart. Wallin has also appeared with illustrations in magazines.

Family and personal life[edit]

Elin and David Wallin. The wedding on September 14, 1905, in Sankt Nikolai church, Örebro.

Elin Wallin was only 20 years old when she married the artist David Wallin, 29 years old, on September 14, 1905. They were engaged on March 25 the same year. It was a solemn church wedding and the ceremony took place in Sankt Nikolai church in Örebro,[4][5] Elin’s home town. Dinner was given at Stora hotellet, Örebro, the town's oldest hotel nearby Storbron and Örebro slott at the corner of Drottninggatan 1 and Engelbrektsgatan.[6][7] The priest who married them, the dean Erik Edlund, was Elin’s confirmation priest. The newly married husband David had exhibition in Örebro in the same week as the wedding with Elin took place. It was one of the first exhibitions that David ever had and there was an article about that in the newspaper, and it was so superior to have exhibition and wedding at the same time.

After the wedding they went on honeymoon abroad to Paris and London. The newly married husband David painted a couple of small paintings with Elin in the Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) in Paris.The couple settled down in Stockholm and Elin and David became parents of seven children, born in 1906, 1907, 1909, 1912, 1916, 1922 and 1924, five girls and two boys.[8] The two oldest girls were born in Sweden, Helena and Hillevi. Their daughter Bianca was born in Rome in Italy in 1909. Their fourth daughter, Dagny, was born in Paris in France in 1912.

In 1908 David Wallin was awarded an Academy travel scholarship, which was later extended for another year. The following year he received another award. The awards allowed him to live, first in Italy, and then in France during the period 1908-1913 with his whole family. During the years 1908-1910 the family stayed in Rome at Lehmanns boarding-house, which was owned by Mrs. Lehmann in Via Frattina. During the summers David stayed in Volterra, southwest of Florence, in the Tuscany region of Italy, where there was a colony of artists. During the years 1910-1913 the family stayed in Paris at 43 Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire[9] in Montparnasse-Luxembourg, near Rive Gauche, and halfway between Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. During their time in Paris the family Wallin got to know some other Swedish artists with whom they got friends for life. Some of their friends were the Swedish artist and sculptor Gottfrid Larsson (1875-1936) with wife Karen Larsson (born Waaler), who were staying in Paris in 1908-1913, and the artist and photographer Erik Tryggelin (1879-1962).[10][11]

In the autumn 1913 the family moved back to Sweden and Stockholm. When the fifth child came it was finally a boy, Sigurd, and happiness seemed complete. But, there was heavy grief of the family, two girls, Hillevi and Dagny, died in a drowning accident in the summer of 1919. Of course the family was affected much by this. Elin did not continue to paint. David painted many melancholy motifs of mother and child, deeply influenced by the heavy grief. After a few years the family was extended again with two children, a girl and a boy. The enlargement of the family gave new hope for the future again.

From 1913 the family lived in Hjärnegatan 10 in Kungsholmen, and in 1928 the family could move into a large apartment in Östermalm, Karlavägen 43, overlooking Humlegården. Now David was close to his artist work-rooms, located just across the Humlegården. The atelier, his studio with workroom, was on the upper top floor and had slooping roof windows on Humlegårdsgatan 23 in Stockholm with view over (National Library of Sweden), Kungliga biblioteket, KB. The atelier, he had it already in autumn of 1904, was rented out during the years when the family lived in Rome and Paris, and it was his workplace for over 50 years. Elin Wallin was a great support for her husband David Wallin with his work as an artist and she was a very energetic woman.


  1. ^ Damastvävaren Carl Widlund (The Damask Weaver Carl Widlund)
  2. ^ Den dansande damastvävaren (The Dancing Damask Weaver) Berit Eldvik, Den dansande damastvävaren, Nordiska museets Förlag (Nordic Museum in Stockholm), 1999, size 8.5"x11", hardcover, 246 pp. "The Nordic Museum in Stockholm has produced this fascinating book about the life of Carl Widlund. Born in 1887, this Swede wove damask by hand well into the 20th century on jacquard looms as done in the 1700s. The linen warps could be as fine as single ply size 50 or more. He was also a musician and dancer and liked traveling to Paris. This extensive work has plenty of Swedish text, but also practically every other page has a large and beautiful photograph to offer. Beautifully bound with a red cloth spine and corners."
  3. ^ About Klässbols Linneväveri and Carl Widlund
  4. ^ An old picture of Sankt Nikolai kyrka in Örebro, from the 1870s. In the foreground you can see the statue and monument of Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson from 1865 by Carl Gustaf Qvarnström at Stortorget in Örebro, and here you can see A new picture of Saint Nicolai church in Örebro of today, 2011.
  5. ^ Picture of the Church of Saint Nicolai in Örebro and Sankt Nikolai kyrka, Örebro with some fine pictures from the inside of the church by David Castor, user:dcastor.
  6. ^ Grand Hotel in Örebro, photography from 1903, photographer Bernhard Hakelier Source: Örebro stadsarkiv / Bernhard Hakelier (1848-1910).
  7. ^ Grand Hotel in Örebro, photography from 2011. Photographer: David Castor, user:dcastor
  8. ^ Vem är vem? Stockholmsdelen 1945, page 925, David Wallin and his family.
  9. ^ Rue de l’Abbé Grégoire, Paris
  10. ^ Erik Tryggelin in Konstnärslexikonett Amanda
  11. ^ Erik Tryggelin in Artnet