Allmogemålaren Anders Ädel
Sammanfattning: The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the Swedish painter and infantry soldier AndersÄdel (1809-1888), who has hitherto only been known from oral tradition. He lived in a preindustrial, rural society. He practised and developed an old and distinctive interior-decoration tradition in the farmsteads of the province of Hälsingland, in the north of Sweden. Contemporary descriptions convey a picture of a wealthy rural population, where the dominating social class were the owners of large farms, impressive in size, neatness, and the quality of the carpentry. So-called Ädel-paintings, though concentrated to the parish of Ljusdal, are also found in neighbouring parishes, and are a Gustaviann-style floral decoration painted on walls, furniture, and artefacts in especially light-blue, white, and red hues.Anders Ädel's biography can be reconstructed from parish records and military archives.Socially, he belonged to the landless rural labourers, who had a more independent positionin northern Sweden than in the south. They embraced the norms and aesthetics of the free-holding farmers, whose farms were the cultural centres of the countryside. The farmers andthe craftsmen of the parish were the style setters of domestic interior design and building. Astyle adopted in one parish confirmed an identity in relation to other parishes and social classes. The integrity and self-awareness which is expressed in the architecture can also be seen in the decorated farmstead interiors.
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