In Memory of My Mother

January 14, 2015

Today I am remembering my mother, Lisette Berglund Hyde, who died four years ago on the day before her 102nd birthday. She loved being outdoors, gardening and walking the dog; baking bread; setting a beautiful table; visiting art museums; listening to Vivaldi on public radio. Lisette was born in Bjuv, a small town in the southern tip of Sweden, so I am marking this occasion with a sunlit painting of a breakfast table outdoors by the Swedish artist Hanna Hirsch-Pauli.

Frukostdags (Breakfast Time) by Hanna Pauli

Frukostdags (Breakfast Time) by Hanna Hirsch-Pauli, Swedish, 1887, via Wikimedia Commons.

Commentary about this painting from the Swedish National Museum reads:

To this day, Hanna Hirsch-Pauli’s painting Breakfast – Time from 1887 is still able to trigger feelings of intense sensual pleasure from our visitors. “We truly feel invited; it is just like our very own breakfast ritual. The chairs are waiting for us and we can almost feel how the heavy teapot tilts as we lift it.” The table which is laid with beautiful objects gives associations to family life and domesticity. The image shows a corner of reality, where the bourgeois dining room has been removed to the garden.

This is an open-air painting suffused with light. The subject is dappled with reflections that give the objects a suggestive shimmer. It is a juste-milieu painting, being at once anchored in the classicist tradition with its linear perspective, but also inspired by the way the Impressionists depicted light with colour. Like many Swedish artists at the time, Hanna Hirsch-Pauli studied in Paris and exhibited at the Salon.

The use of light, the lively brushstrokes and the thickly applied paint outraged several Swedish critics at the time. They saw her technique as “slipshod” and one critic meant that the flecks of light on the table cloth were probably the result of the artist “wiping” her own brushes on it. In the late 1880s Breakfast – Time played a major role in Hanna Hirsch-Pauli’s breakthrough as an artist. Already an accomplished colourist, as we can see, she went on to develop those skills in her portrait painting. — Nationalmuseum Stockholm via Wikimedia Commons.

Thank you for reading this post,

Mary Ann

Related post: Remembering Gladys, Remembering Lisette: Three Years On

2 thoughts on “In Memory of My Mother

    1. Thanks, Wendy. Here is her obituary: Lisette B. Hyde, 101, of Concord, died January 14, 2011, one day before her 102nd birthday. Born Brita Ingeborg Lisette Berglund in Bjuv, Sweden to Axel Ferdinand and Nina Judith Lisette Berglund (ne Snell), she came to the U.S. with her family as a small child, arriving in New York City on August 30, 1911 aboard the Oceanic. She grew up in Chicago, where she graduated from Carl Schurz High School. She studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago before working for the newly formed Tennessee Valley Authority, first in Knoxville, TN and then in Washington, DC. In the 1950s and early 1960s she lived in Napa, California, where she enjoyed country walks, bird watching, gardening, baking homemade bread, reading, and listening to music. She later moved back to Chicago, and eventually settled in Massachusetts, living in Maynard and Acton before moving to Concord in 2008. She is survived by her daughters, Mary Ann Barton and husband Steve Ruzich, of Maynard, and Katherine Hyde and husband Dana Cobb, of Ridgewood, NJ; grandsons, Edward Barton, Daniel Cobb and John Cobb; and a brother, Harold Berglund and wife Phyllis, of Sun Lakes, AZ. She was predeceased by her brothers Carl Berglund, of Rolling Meadows, IL, and Lawrence Berglund, of Arlington, TX. – See more at:


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