Ellen Jolin (Maria Helena Jolin) was a Swedish artist and writer, born in Stockholm on 16 June 1854. Her father was Johan Christopher Jolin (1818-1884), actor and playwright. Her mother was Katarina Matilda Jolin née Wigert (1833-1919).

Ellen Jolin studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. In 1889, she travelled to Paris where she studied at L'Académie Julian, a private art school. What she called her "travel years" lasted until 1905. She visited Holland, Belgium and England, but she preferred the countries south of the Pyrenees and the Alps, especially Italy; she also visited North Africa. She described these travels in a book published in 1911, Från studiefärder i medelhafsländer. The book is illustrated with drawings and photographs.

During 1890-1910, Ellen Jolin exhibited frequently in Stockholm, but also in Paris, Vienna and Berlin as well as in other cities in Europe. She is known for her watercolours and pastels, often with architectural sceneries. Some of her works can be seen in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm and in other museums in Sweden.

In 1913, Ellen Jolin published a book about her father and his friends, Johan Jolin och hans vänner: interiörer ur konstnärslifvet under förra seklet.

Ellen Jolin never married. She died in Stockholm on 25 May 1939. The well-known artist Einar Jolin (1890-1976) was her nephew.

Rio di San Trovaso, Venice
View towards the Grand Canal with Palazzo Contarini Corfù to the right
Watercolour by Ellen Jolin, 1893

For information on the Contarini palaces, click here

Ellen Jolin at the Rialto Bridge, Venice
Unknown photographer, c. 1900

I am very grateful to Michaela Jolin, daughter of Einar Jolin, for having identified the lady in the picture with the help of old family photographs.