The Vintage Scandinavian Christmas Cards of Jenny Nystrom
Jenny Nystrom was a Swedish artist born in 1854. She was known as the woman who created the Scandinavian image of Christmas, with her numerous Scandinavian Christmas cards and magazine covers. She gave Sweden the festive image of, Christmas gifts and the Christmas tree.
Jenny linked the Swedish version of Santa Claus to the gnomes of Scandinavian folklore. Many of her Christmas paintings, featured the Scandinavian gnomes and Santa Claus in his original green coat. Children also featured heavily as a subject of her beautiful and fun Christmas painted scenes.
These antique Christmas cards also reflect the wintery scenes of Scandinavia with lots of deep snow!
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The Scandinavian Christmas Cards
This antique Christmas card was held at the Norwegian National Library. However, the greeting on the card “Glædelig Jul!” is the Danish for Merry Christmas. The Norwegian is God Jul. So I presume that this was a Christmas card sent from someone in Denmark to someone in Norway. The Christmas elves on the front look very Scandinavian and maybe that’s a basket of “Danish” pastries they are carrying!
Another Christmas card with the Danish seasonal greating “Glædelig Jul!”, which translates as Merry Christmas. This time it is of a Danish boy holding a model of a Scandinavian Church.
This is a lovely vintage Scandinavian Christmas card by the artist Jenny Nystrom. Painted somewhere in the early 1890’s.
This is a lovely winter scence, showing two children feeding the birds.
Not sure of the date of this Jenny Nystrom card. It shows Santa feeding a goat. Interestingly Santa is wearing a green coat and not red. Santa always used to wear green until the advertising executives of CocaCola gave him a red makeover.
What a delightfully happy festive scene. Excited children dancing around the Christmas tree, painted 1896. Note the flags on the Christmas tree, it is a tradition to decorate the tree with flags in Scandinavian countries.
Another delightful scene of children with birds, this time they are spying on them! Including the Christmas card classic bird the robin. The way the card is painted it looks like a snowglobe.
Another Scandinavian vintage Christmas card with painting of Santa showing him in his original green coat. Before the CocaCola update to a a red coat in the 1930’s!
This is a cheeky Christmas card, showing a boy in traditional dress. He’s armed and dangerous ready for a serious snowball fight. It is also a rare Jenny Nystrom card with the greeting written in English. Rather than one of the usual Scandinvain languages on her antique Christmas cards. This card was painted in 1914.
I think these lovely vintage Scandinavian Christmas cards would make a fabulous display at Christmas. You could print and frame them. However, I think they would make a gorgeous festive garland, strung up like bunting. Or you could easily get these images printed onto your own Christmas cards to send to your friends and relatives.
If you like this post you may also like the free vintage maps of Northern Europe to download.