|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||90 cm × 149 cm (101 in × 89 in)|
|Location||Swedish National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden|
The fairies dancing in the meadow in the twilight flow over the romantic landscape; one of them bends over the water to catch a glimpse of her own image. This visionary painting depicts the morning mist turning into fairies, like the spirits of untamed nature. Fairies were seen as delicate, tender, sensitive but also capricious and inclined to have their feelings hurt easily and take offence if not treated well. In the Swedish folk tradition, people were warned to watch out for elves, as they could be dangerous for those who were not careful with them. The fairies in Norse mythology's hidden people have survived in local folklore often as beautiful young women, living in the wild on hills, woods and mounds of stones. In Romantic art and literature, elves are typically pictured as fair-haired, white-clad, and nasty when offended.
August Malmström's Dancing Fairies is a widely recognised work in its home country. Malmström, who was a professor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, was one of the Swedish artists who aspired to create a national Swedish art. He used themes both from Norse mythology and folklore, and his images often depicted fairies and other spirits of nature.
- Hidden people (Icelandic)
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- "Älvalek" (PDF). Nationalmuseum. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
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- The article Alfkors in Nordisk familjebok (1904).
- "Malmström". runeberg.org. Retrieved 30 December 2014.