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Birger Sandzen was born in Blidsberg, Sweden in 1871 and spent the majority of his successful career in Lindsborg, Kansas, where he also worked as an art professor at Bethany College. He is best known for his colorful, dynamic landscapes featuring mountain lakes and rivers, boulders, aspen trees and rustic buildings. One of the artist's most popular settings was the Smoky Hill River area of central Kansas. The style and spirit of his works, though uniquely individual, varied throughout his career from Pointillist and Fauvist, to Expressionist and Post-Impressionist. His artworks are dramatic, exciting and vibrant.
Sandzen's prime period is considered to be the 1920's and 1930's, when his works featured especially rich vivid colors with brilliant brushwork. The surface of his paintings during this time emphasize a thick application of paint in a manner reminiscent of Van Gogh or Cezanne. His works showcase his fascination with rich, wonderfully bold color combinations.
Sandzen's mature works in the later part of his career tend toward using a slightly softer and more subdued color palette. The application of paint on the surface, while still energetic and vigorous, is somewhat more restrained.
Sandzen's work is internationally known and has been exhibited and held in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Uffizi in Florence, the British Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and the Library of Congress.