The Art of Scandinavia

Democratic by Design

Series 1 - Episode 3 Democratic by Design



Prior to the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 (a showcase of design and architecture), Swedish art reflected the typical Nordic anxieties and introspection that we’ve seen throughout the series.

There were turbulent seascapes, gloomy landscapes and melancholy portraits. But, as Andrew Graham-Dixon points out, because Sweden didn’t participate in the First World War its postwar art was “softer and more benign than that of its counterparts in Italy, Germany and France”.

Those with a passing acquaintance with Ikea will recognise its links to the functionalist aesthetic and Carl Larsson’s charming paintings of family life, while we also learn the origins of Scandi-noir drama.


Andrew Graham-Dixon concludes his exploration of the artistic history of the northern European region by looking at Sweden's tradition of furniture design. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon
Director Paul Tickell
Producer Paul Tickell
Series Producer Silvia Sacco