Born: 1862; Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 1944, Sweden
Field: painting, drawing
Art Movement: Abstract Art
Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art. She belonged to a group called 'The Five' and the paintings or diagrams were a visual representation of complex philosophical ideas.
The fourth child of Captain Victor af Klint, a Swedish naval commander, and Mathilda af Klint (née Sonntag), Hilma af Klint spent summers with her family at their farm Hammora on the island of Adelsö in Lake Mälaren. In these idylic surroundings Hilma came into contact with nature at an early stage in her life and this deep association with natural forms was to be an inspiration in her work. From her father she adopted an interest in mathematics.
In 1880 her younger sister Hermina died and it was at this time that the spiritual dimension of her life began to develop.
She showed an early ability in visual art and after the family had moved to Stockholm she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts for five years during which time she learned portraiture and landscape painting . Here she met Anna Cassel, the first of the four women with whom she later worked in 'The Five' (de fem), a group of artists who shared her ideas. Her more conventional painting became the source of her financial income while the 'life's work' remained a quite separate practice.