Olof Thunman


Artist, author.

Olof Thunman was born in the Imperfectum student house on Västra Ågatan, where the Catholic parish of St Lars now has premises.

He studied between 1902–1906 at the Academy of Arts and its etching school. Thunman then devoted himself to landscape painting, which, like his lyric poetry, is based on the cultural landscape of Uppland. Thunman painted in an impressionist style, often with dusky tones, but later moved to topographically accurate drawings and ink wash paintings.

He moved in 1928 to a house at Noor's Castle in Knivsta and lived there for life. Often, Thunman went out to the landscape, on foot or by bike, with pen and paper in his hand. He was often dressed in grey wadmal suit with leg lindens, and is as such depicted in a sculpture outside the Särsta Inn in Knivsta.

The lyrics are collected in books such as Pan Spelar (1919), Olandssånger (1927) and Fornbygd och färdvägar (1929). The most famous poem is "Vi gå över dew-spotted mountains" to a tune of uncertain origin, possibly from a Hälsingian melody.

In October 1944, Olof Thunman died and after the funeral in Uppsala Cathedral, the funeral procession went through Odinslund past Carolina, via Övre Slottsgatan in through Åsgrändsgrinden. The procession was lined with a crowd of people who, with torches, honored the deceased.

At the grave, members of the choir OD sang "Over the forest, over the lake" with lyrics and music by the composer A.F. Lindblad.

The following stanza is from the poem "Winter Night", Olandssånger, 1927.

There is snow over the bird song
And the waterfall sleeps at the Island Bridge.
In the night a prisoner of winter listens
In vain after the tone of spring.


Burial site: 0115-0801

Image description: Olof Thunman ca 1940. Photo: Gunnar Sundgren / UUB. [The image is cropped]
Click here for an uncropped image