Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval (1885–1972) has a unique place in Icelandic cultural history, as one of the nation's most beloved artists of all time. He was a legend in his own lifetime, and in the eyes of many he was the archetypal romantic bohemian artist. He had his roots in traditional Icelandic farming society, and his life and art were inextricably entwined with the nation's cultural renaissance in the early 20th century. He is best known for his interpretation of nature, and especially the mystical visual world manifested in his art. In Kjarval's long artistic career, his basic vision remained the same – that nature is alive – although the emphases of his work evolved and changed over the years.