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  • Hardcover
  • 222 Pages

Love and art in a new book

 A burning love and equal passion for art brought Carolina Benedicks and William Blair Bruce together from long distant countries, Carolina from Sweden and William from Canada. They first met in the artist colony Grez-sur-Loing in France, where Eva Bonnier, August Strindberg, Gerda Rydberg, Carl Larsson and other contemporary artists also lived and worked.

 Carolina and William exhibited at the Salon in Paris and other artistic establishments during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They received awards and won prizes. Yet today they are perhaps not as well-known as many contemporary artists. The reason is their attitude to their art. They painted for the sake of art, not to gain the appreciation of others. As William put it: “I paint for posterity”.

The couple lived in various places on the European continent but often visited Sweden where they had relatives and friends. In Sweden was also the fabulous island of Gotland, where William immediately felt at home. The couple bought a piece of land by the sea and had Brucebo built, which today is one of Sweden’s most well-preserved and fascinating artists’ homes.


A lifelong story

The author Johanna Pietikäinen has a master’s degree in art history and a bachelor’s degree in Conservation. She depicts the artist couple’s life and relationship from letters and diary entries. The story extends over the youth years, the time in the artist colony and the later part of life. Heartists is also a depiction of Carolina’s commitment to justice and gender equality, not least her fight for women’s suffrage.

Sweden + Canada = 

The couples legacy lives on and their art and life are meeting increasing interest. Today, William is one of Canada’s most famous Impressionist artists. One of the world’s largest collections of his art is owned by the Art Gallery of Hamilton, another is placed at his former home in Brucebo, Sweden.


“Well, the fact is do you see, that he is a real artist, or heartist, then he puts his heart in to it, that is true.” Carolina, about William, 1892.

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