|Gustaf Tenggren: portrait of Rudolf Petersson,
fellow painting student, party pal and brother-in-law.
|Rudolf Petersson from an unknown clipping, app. 1918.
|Rudolf Petersson at military service 1916.
Petersson got the inspiration for his comic book hero
91:an Karlsson from his time as a soldier.
Gustaf Tenggren and Rudolf Petersson, called Dolle, met when they both attended Valand school of Painting in Gothenburg in autumn of 1915. They became best friends, painting and partying together during the three years they spent at school.
|Gustaf Tenggren: a late drawing depicting his time at Valand school of painting in Gothenburg.
Rudolf "Dolle" Petersson is sitting next to the model.
The Petersson portrait was most likely made in 1916, possibly during a model painting session since Rudolf seems concentrating on depicting a motif.
In September 1918 Gustaf married Rudolf’s sister Anna and so the two comrades even became brothers-in-law.
|Gustaf Tenggren married Anna Petersson on her birthday October 3rd, 1918.
In Cleveland, Rudolf quickly gained reputation as a talented cartoonist and caricaturist and worked for several newspapers, such as The Cleveland News and The Bystander.
|Rudolf Petersson and famed jazz orchestra band leader,
Paul Whiteman showing a caricature for a poster
announcing a jazz concert at Keith’s Palace Theatre.
Cleveland News, 1920ies.
|Rudolf Petersson in his studio 1963. By this time Petersson and
91:an Karlsson had become a part of the national cultural heritage.
The popular soldier even became a statue in Halmstad, Petersson's home town.
|A 91:an Karlsson comic album from 1934, two years after its first appearance.
|An 60-year anniversary album with the
original and the later version of 91:an Karlsson.
But Rudolf Petersson hardly ever spoke of Gustaf Tenggren later in his life. Maybe that is why the portrait was found in a junk shop in Oslo at the price of 50 Norwegian crowns, or a mere $10.