Jenny Nyström is the girl from Kalmar, Sweden that went to Paris and became one of Sweden’s most beloved illustrators. She was an academically skilled artist in a time when a woman’s role was to take care of home and family. She was the mother of the Swedish “Tomte” (Santa Claus) She began to study at The Gothenburg Museum Fine Arts School.
Jenny was a good student, and considered as very talented. She made Illustrations to Viktor Rydbergs tale “Little Viggs Adventure on Christmas Eve”. The book, with Jenny’s Illustrations have since then been printed in at least 15 editions, it has also been translated into several languages. (photograph of Jenny below)
These illustrations established her life long relationship with the Tomte character (Santa Claus).
Languishing for Paris, she had to win the Royal Medal. She portrayed Gustav Vasa (Gustavus Vasa as a Child before King Hans). With this painting, Jenny Nyström received the Royal Medal, together with 2000 Swedish crowns from the Academy’s special travel support fund. Finally she could go to Paris. The big goal in Paris was to exhibit on the Salon, and by that become an acknowledged artist. Jenny worked hard and determined, improving in her artistry. In 1884 Jenny made her first appearance at the Salon with a unique self portrait in oil. Her dreams were fulfilled.