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Gunnar Mauritz Widforss

Gunnar Mauritz Widforss


Nationality: Swedish

Widforss is best known for his breathtaking watercolors of America's National Parks, primarily Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Mesa Verde, and of course his beloved Grand Canyon. His luminous watercolors capture the unfiltered light and wide open spaces of the American west, believably creating a vastness of scope in his compositions despite the diminutive scale of the canvas. After studying to be a muralist at the Swedish Institute of Technology (1896-1900), Widforss traveled extensively before permanently settling in the United States. His eye for murals made him the perfect candidate to tackle the scale and grandeur of the west. The Director of National Parks, Stephen Mather, convinced Widforss that a career could be made painting America's relatively new national park land. Widforss's epic landscapes were published in the 1923 book Songs of Yosemite and used as cover illustrations for the major American magazines of the time.

Towards the end of his life, Widforss lived alone and worked primarily from his studio, which he built on the rim of the Grand Canyon. He studied the geology of the Grand Canyon from numerous vantage points and painted it from various perspectives. The canyon became his muse and companion, and his depictions of it are delicately rendered yet powerful. Widforss exhibited at the National Gallery in Washington, and in 1969 a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff.


Gunnar Mauritz Widforss Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934) Grand Canyon Oil on canvas 30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61.0 cm) Inscribed ve
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934)Grand CanyonOil on canvas30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61.0 cm)Inscribed ve...
Lot 70044
Auction 5148
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Gunnar Mauritz Widforss (Swedish/American, 1879-1934) The Grand Canyon Watercolor on paper 13-1/2 x 17-1/2 inches (34
Gunnar Mauritz Widforss (Swedish/American, 1879-1934)The Grand CanyonWatercolor on paper13-1/2 x 17-1/2 inches (34...
Lot 68028
Auction 5275
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Gunnar Mauritz Widforss (Swedish, 1879-1934) Grand Canyon, 1924 Watercolor on paper laid on board 19-3/8 x 17 inches
Gunnar Mauritz Widforss (Swedish, 1879-1934)Grand Canyon, 1924Watercolor on paper laid on board19-3/8 x 17 inches ...
Lot 69058
Auction 5330
Friday, November 3, 2017
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934) Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1923 Watercolor on paper 17 x 13-1/2 inches
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934)Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1923Watercolor on paper17 x 13-1/2 inches...
Lot 87043
Auction 5103
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934) A View of the Grand Canyon Watercolor on paper 10 x 13-1/2 inches (25.4
GUNNAR MAURITZ WIDFORSS (Swedish, 1879-1934)A View of the Grand CanyonWatercolor on paper10 x 13-1/2 inches (25.4 ...
Lot 75049
Auction 5026
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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