by Alexandra Tuschka
The thick, impasto paint application dominates two thirds of the picture space. A horizon line separates this part from the lower part of the picture. The sea and the beach are kept in the same colors as the upper part, but the sea is shown as a rather motionless color surface and the beach with less moving forms.
This creates a dynamic between the pictorial spaces that seems threatening on the one hand, but also comforting on the other. For on the horizontal the beautiful Stockholm has nestled luminously and seems unimpressed by the imposing clouds. The slight complementary contrast between the dome and its surroundings makes this area stand out. The painter's pictorial themes, often of stormy seas or of the power of nature, have been numerously associated with the artist's mental state. Strindberg suffered from violent mood swings; even the proximity to paranoid schizophrenia has been recognized.
August Strindberg - The city
Oil on canvas, 1903, 94.5 x 53 cm, National Museum in Stockholm