b. 1874 Stockholm, Sweden
d. 1951 Lidingö, Sweden






TKportTyra Kleen 1904 in her studio paintingTyra Kleen was born into an aristocratic family. Her father was an international lawyer and diplomat, so she received a cosmopolitan education in various countries. At the age of 16 she began to study painting in Germany, first Dresden, then in Karlsruhe (1892/1893) and Munich (1894/1895). Her encounter with Max Klinger and his art was decisive for her. Under his influence, she turned to printmaking and perfected the art of lithography. She then studied in Paris and finally lived in Rome for nine years. Symbolism and Art Nouveau, but above all esoteric currents, Theosophy and Spiritualism increasingly interested her and influenced her artistic work.

Upon her return to Stockholm in 1909, Tyra Kleen became a member of the Edelweiss Society. She developed deep friendships with many of the Society's protagonists, especially its leader Huldine Fock and her daughters. She immortalized many members of the family in wonderful portraits. For the Edelweiss Society, Tyra Kleen created two large designs of archangels for two windows of the planned but never realized Edelweiss Temple. In their austerity and clarity, these two works occupy a unique position in her artistic oeuvre.

True to her restless life, she began traveling again in 1911, first to Sri Lanka and India, then to Indonesia, where she lived for two years. She wrote and painted about her experiences.




Tyra Kleen – Constantly Searching Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Sweden, February 10, 2024 – September 29, 2024

Painting And Spirituality: Hilma af Klint, Tyra Kleen, Lucie Lagerbielke. Millesgården, Lidingö, Sweden,  October 5, 2019 – February 9, 2020

Tyra Kleen (1874–1951). Artist, vagabond, adventuress, Thiel Gallery, Stockholm., Sweden, June 16 – September 23, 2018



Faxneld, Per, “’Mirages and visions in the air’: Tyra Kleen and the paradoxes of esoteric art.” Approaching Religion, 11, 2021, 63–76.

Gullstrand Hermelin, Kerstin (ed.), Niclas Franzén, Elisabet Lind, Karin Ström Lehander, Tyra Kleen. Nyköping: eget förlag, 2016.

Ström Lehander Karin, “Tyra Kleen – ständigt sölande konstnär och kosmopolit,” in: Kurt Almqvist (ed.), Det esoteriska Sverige: Från Swedenborg till Strindberg. Stockholm: Bokförlaget Stolpe, 2023, 253-263.

Ström Lehander Karin, “Tyra Kleen: Artist and religious seeker.” Approaching Religion, 11, 2021, 174-183.

Ström Lehander, Karin, ”Tyra Kleens dödsbilder” in Kjell O. Lejon (ed.), Föreställningar om döden. Stockholm: Carlssons Bokförlag, 2016, 138-155.

Ström Lehander, Karin, ”Tyra Kleen och Orienten – ’Den andre’ gestaltad av Tyra Kleen och andra svenska konstnärer vid förra sekelskiftet”, Kjell O. Lejon (ed.) Perspektiv på den andre. Stockholm: Carlssons Bokförlag, 2018, 140-162.

Wägner, Elin, ”Linjer och symboler. Några ord om Tyra Kleen och hennes konst,” Idun: Illustrerad tidning för kvinnan och hemmet. Stockholm: 1909, 93-97.

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