Smellið hér fyrir síðuna um Júlíönu Sveinsdóttur á íslensku
Júlíana Sveinsdóttir was born in Vestmannaeyjar on 31 July 1889. She was the second child of carpenter Sveinn Jónsson and Guðrún Runólfsdóttir. At the age of 16 she moved to Reykjavík to study. Her painting talent was discovered at Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. She received private lessons from the painter Þórarinn B. Þorláksson. He received his training in Denmark and he held his first art exhibition in Reykavík in 1900. That was the first private art exhibition ever in Iceland. Before that no Icelander had made painting their occupation. The turn of the century changed the cultural atmosphere in Iceland and the growing middle class recognized the importance of art for culture and the self image of the nation. Two great fathers of Icelandic art, Ásgrímur Jónsson and Einar Jónsson, followed Þórarinn to Denmark to study art and sculpture. Júlíana belongs to the next generation of artists which includes artists like Jón Stefánsson, Jóhannes Kjarval and Kristín Jónsdóttir.
At the beginning of the 20th century it was not selfevident that young girls would go to school in Copenhagen but Júlíana was clearly gifted and her father had both interest and capacity to support her education. Júlíana sailed to Copenhagen in 1909 and enrolled in the Royal Danish Academy of Arts after a three year prepatory period. There she studied for five years and graduated in 1917. A year later she had her first exhibition in Copenhagen and from then on she was an active participant in the art scene of Denmark. During her life she participated in over hundred group exhibitions both in Denmark and Iceland, and held 11 private exhibitions in Iceland and Denmark. Júlíana was also active in representing the arts in different councils and committees.
Júlíana was one of the most talented weavers in the Nordic countries. She was self-taught and used Icelandic wool which she coloured with Icelandic herbs.
Júlíana came to Vestmannaeyjar in 1946 after a long time away from the childhood home. She painted many pictures of the islands during her stay. The pictures were with abstract forms representing mountains, rocks and sea. She said she was not just painting the rocks and mountains but the struggle between land and sea.
Júlíana died in Copenhagen on 17 April 1966, 76 years old.