Fredrick Ludvig von Dardel — his birth certificate mentions him as Frédéric Louis and he signed and is known in Sweden as Fritz von Dardel — is a 19th Century artist. Born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on 27th March 1817 from a Swiss father and a Swedish mother, he died in Stockholm on 27th May 1901. See also the Dardel genealogy. He is the grandfather of another Swedish painter, Nils Dardel (1888-1943), who is famous in Sweden.
At the age of sixteen, he is a cadet in an artillery regiment of Sweden. He becomes a Royal Guard second lieutenant in 1837, then a lieutenant of the Swedish army in 1862. As early as 1850, he is the Military assistant to the Crown Prince Carl (the future king Charles XV, see the 1949 watercolour below). He serves as military attaché in Paris between 1858 and 1862. He becomes a member of the Swedish Academy of Arts in 1862, then its president in 1864. He is also the president of the management commitee of the National Museum between 1867 and 1892. He is a member of the jury of several art exhibitions in Europe (1867-1878) and in Philadelphia in 1876.
Fritz studied painting in Paris with Léon Cogniet and Eugène Lami. He is best known for his caricatures and watercolours, although he also did occasionnally oil paintings. As a cartoonist, he was strongly influenced by Rodolphe Töpffer of Switzerland, and he published his first drawings in the 1840s. His talent is expressed in numerous caricature albums, and — he was in the army — he depicted the uniforms of the Swedish and Norwegian armies in a high quality album published in Paris by Lemercier. In addition to his military career and to his activities in the royal court, he played a central rôle in the Swedish artistic life. His diary and memoirs were published posthumously between 1911 and 1920 and are a valuable contribution to the Swedish cultural history. See also, in a separate page, the 19th Century album published by one of Fritz's sons.
Fritz von Dardel was a prolific artist: hundreds of watercolours, drawings, cartoons, and sketches have been published. You can see 280 of them in these pages.
Click on each thumbnail for a larger version and details of the picture. Many of them come from the Nordiska Museet. I have sorted them approximately by date.
I put the following pictures in the "cartoons" category, but they could also have been in the "drawings" category, and vice-versa.
Arrivée au bal
Trip to Norway, 1856
Kronprins Carl, sønn av Oscar I, var utnevnt til visekonge over Norge i årene 1856–1857. Under hans første opphold i Norge, som varte fra mai til oktober 1856, var Fritz von Dardel med til Norge som visekongens adjutant. Dardel (1817–1901) vokste opp i Sveits. Han var utdannet offiser, men var også en habil kunstner. Under oppholdet i Norge i 1856 skrev han dagbok. Den er skrevet på fransk, Dardels morsmål, og har en rekke illustrasjoner.
Manuskriptet ble innkjøpt til Nasjonalbiblioteket Oslo i desember 1999.
I dagboka kan vi følge visekongen på hans rundreise i Norge sommeren 1856. Turen gikk fra Christiania 14. juli med dampskipet Vidar. Visekongen fikk overalt en hjertelig mottakelse, det ble arrangert banketter og festmiddager, og folk møtte opp med hurrarop og jubel når den populære kronprinsen dukket opp.
Sent på aftenen den 20. juli kom følget til Bergen. Havnen var full av mennesker da Vidar la til kai med sitt kongelige følge. Dardel beskriver Bergen som en hollandsk by omkranset av sveitsiske fjell. Den var etter Dardels mening langt mer interessant enn Christiania. I Bergen ble det arrangert middager, ball og teaterforestilling til ære for selskapet, men Dardel og visekongen sørget også for å få med seg livet på fiskebryggen. Fiskerne sto i båtene sine og tilbød fisk til kundene som sto på brygga. Alle skrek i munnen på hverandre, det var et spetakkel uten like. Folk oppfører seg på sydlandsk vis, skriver Dardel. Det hele minnet ham om kaia i Napoli.
The above text is in Norwegian
Two pages of the manuscript
Crown Prince Carl
Ball in Christiansand
Departure from Christiansand
Costume of Rosendal
The church of Lom
Departure from Gardmo
Voyage dans les états scandinaves
In 1861, Fritz von Dardel published under the nom de plume M. de Saint-Blaise an article with the title "A trip to the Scandinavian States", in the French review "Le tour du Monde" directed by Édouard Charton, a somewhat different version of his trip to Norway, illustrated with 28 engravings. Here a few of them.
Scenes of social and military life in the middle of the 19th Century Published in 1915 after Fritz's death by his son Nils, this album of thirty images illustrates the social and military life in the Swedish high society.
Messrs. Black & Smith on their way to Scandinavia, 1849-1853
This is a series of humorous images describing the voyage of two Englishmen from Hamburg to Stockholm via Norway and Lapland. The original legends are in French, but I translated them to English. The series was only published 150 years later. Open the album to see the best pictures.
Six images from "Åland. Familien Tutings lustresa till Bomarsund." (Pleasure trip of family Tuting to Bomarsund in the Åland islands) 1853
The Battle of Bomarsund was fought by an Anglo-French task force against Russian defenses during the Crimean War. After a week of fighting, the British stormed and destroyed the fort.
A steam voyage, 1854
Under the pen name Ledrad (Dardel reversed), Fritz von Dardel published in the French Petit journal du rire caricatures illustrating a railway trip. Open the album to see these images (French only).
The puppet show, 1876
Swedish and Norwegian uniforms
Three images from "Svenska och Norska Arméerna samt flottorna i deras nuvarande uniformering", a collection of 36 lithographs published by Lemercier in Paris in 1861-1863
Anna Maria Lenngren
Six illustrations dated 1884 on poems in Swedish by Anna Maria Lenngren (1754–1817) The six texts are presented in a separate page. They have been rewritten in modern Swedish.
Fritz von Dardel was living in Stockholm, but in summer he was mainly in his estate of Montebello at Vaxholm, a short distance from Stockholm. The villa, built in 1865 by William Lindberg, had a somewhat crazy architecture, typical of the 19th Century. It was destroyed in 1917.
During the life of Fritz von Dardel, the following kings reigned in Sweden:
1818-1844 : Charles XIV Jean (Karl XIV Johan), Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, born in 1763, marshall of the French Empire in 1804, prince of Ponte-Corvo in 1806, elected as Crown Prince in 1810 by the Diet of Sweden,
1844-1859 : Oscar Ist, born in 1799, son of the previous and of Désirée Clary,
1859-1872 : Charles XV (Karl XV), born in 1826, son of the previous,
1872-1907 : Oscar II, born in 1829, younger brother of the previous.
See the Wikipedia article on Fritz von Dardel (German or Swedish only...)