Some 481 years ago in Stockholm (the 20 April 1535), the phenomenon of sun dog has been noticed for the first time. This atmospheric and optical singularity appears when there is plenty of ice crystals in the air, giving the illusion to have several sun in the sky and/or with a big halo around it.
It has then such an impact on the swede that a painting has been commissioned shortly after. This beautiful work is traditionally attributed to Urban Målare (“Urban [the] Painter”) and it remains today only a copy done a century later by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas.
This painting is also the first depiction of the city of Stockholm in colour, and the oldest Swedish landscape painting!
Actually Sweden was then in war along with the Danes against Lübeck and the Hanseatic League over the Empire at the time and this sun dog (Vädersol in Swedish “Weather sun”) has been perceived by Olaus Petri (a Protestant clergyman who was a major contributor to the Protestant Reformation) as sign of future accidents.
This is for all these reasons that this painting became naturally an icon for the history of Stockholm, and now frequently displays whenever the history of the city is commemorated.
Plus, on the visually point of view, this oil on panel is incredibly ferric with stunning colours.
Don’t you wanna go to Stockholm now…?! 😉
|Urban Målare, Vädersolstavlan, 1535 (copie of Jacob Elbfas, 1636)|