Jón Þorleifsson 1891-1961
Jón Þorleifsson from Hornafjörður in the southeast region commenced his studies at Teknisk Selskabs Skole in Copenhagen in 1918, and was admitted to the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1921 – but he felt he would do better outside it. In 1921–1922 Jón was in Paris at the Académie de Croquis, and again in 1927. In Paris Jón had access to the leading avant-garde art of the time, and he familiarised himself with the work of such artists as Picasso (1881–1973), Braques (1882–1963) and Cézanne (1839–1906), in whom he found inspiration. Jón lived in Copenhagen until 1929, returning to Iceland in the summers to paint, but also finding subjects in his immediate surroundings in Copenhagen. In addition to holding one-man shows almost every year in Iceland, Jón participated in group shows at Charlottenborg and elsewhere. In the early 1920s Jón’s work was characterised by lyrical naturalism and cool tones; in 1924–1926 expressionist influence is seen, and after his time in Paris in 1927 he attained a certain stability in formal structure. Jón worked on the Icelandic Art Exhibition at Charlottenborg in 1927, and a lithograph by him appeared on the front cover of the catalogue – Jón had use of facilities at the lithographic workshop of Chr. J. Cato. The Icelandic Art Exhibition at Charlottenborg included 14 paintings by Jón, among them scenes from Þingvellir, Hornafjörður and the Westman Islands, and a painting of goats.