What is Gösta Florman best known for?

Photograph of Swedish photographer Gösta Florman 1867

One of the most celebrated photographers to hail from Uppsala, Sweden, the photographer Gösta Florman made a lot of contribution to photography in the 19th century. He is probably best-known for serving as the chairman of the Swedish Photographers Association, but his works captured a numbered of important individuals of the era, including the Swedish inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.

Below, World History Edu delves into the life and accomplishments of Gösta Florman, including his most important photographs.

Life and Major Achievements

Florman entered the military while pursuing a career in photography. He would go on to set up photography studios in Karlstad and Kristinehamn. After leaving the army, he worked as a portrait photographer in Stockholm. Operating from his studio in Regeringsgatan, a street in the Norrmalm district of the city, he was able to make a big splash with his very innovative style. At some point in time, he even became more famous than the German photographer Johannes Jaeger who also worked in Stockholm.

Gösta Florman (1831-1900)

The reason why many people came to love his works was because of his infusion of fashionable style of brown-toned and continental themes. He was also known for using well-dressed models in his works.

Florman also took photographs of a number of landscapes in Sweden. His most famous are the photographs from Dalarna and Lapland.

In 1887, Swedish photographer Gösta Florman was honored with the Litteris et Artibus. The Litteris et Artibus is a Swedish royal medal that was instituted in 1853 to celebrate the immense contributions made by people to the arts and literature. Image: Litteris et Artibus

Gösta Florman passed away on April 11, 1900, aged 68. He was buried at the North Burial Ground (The Northern Cemetery) in Stockholm.

Overall, Gösta Florman made significant contributions to the field of photography in Sweden. For this, he was honored with the Swedish royal award the Litteris et Artibus medal in 1887.

Florman’s photograph of Alfred Nobel

Perhaps the most famous works of Florman is the photography of Swedish engineer and philanthropist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). In the photography, Nobel is seen sitting in an armchair with his gaze to the left.

Gösta Florman's photograph of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish engineer and philanthropist who set up the Nobel Prizes

Gösta Florman’s photograph of Swedish inventor and philanthropist Alfred Nobel

Other famous portrait photographs by Gösta Florman

Revered as one of the leading photographers of his time, Florman produced portrait photographs of the following individuals:

  • The 1877 photograph of Herald Nicolai Storm Wergeland (1814-1893), the Norwegian military officer and later government minister.
  • Salomon August Andrée (1854-1897), the famed Swedish engineer and physicist who died trying to reach the Geographic North Pole using a hydrogen balloon.
  • Selma Ek (1856-1941), the Swedish operatic soprano who rose to fame in the late 19th century.
Swedish engineer and adventurer Salomon August Andrée

Florman’s photograph of Swedish engineer and adventurer Salomon August Andrée


Harald Nicolai Storm Wergeland

Gösta Florman’s photograph of Harald Nicolai Storm Wergeland


Swedish opera singer Selma Ek

Florman’s photograph of Swedish opera singer Selma Ek

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