Eva Béve was an artist. She won national and international attention during the early 1900s.
Eva Béve was born in 1871 in Stockholm. She was the daughter of Karolina and Ludvig Béve. Her father was a bank manager at the Stockholms Enskilda Bank. The family supported Eva Béve’s desire to study painting and in 1894 she was accepted as a pupil at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockhom. In 1902, she travelled abroad for the first time, to Germany to study. She tested many different techniques and painted mainly portraits and landscapes. She had health problems, however, which restricted her production for a number of years.
During her years in Germany, she was impressed by among others Emil Orlik. This artist had been inspired by Japanese graphic artists and developed the technique for making coloured woodcuts. Eva Béve was keen to learn this technique and started in 1909 to study in Dachau with Carl Thiemann and Walther Klemm, who both worked with woodcuts. Eva Béve came to be one of the first Swedish artists to acquire the modern way of making coloured woodcuts. She was very internationally orientated and her woodcuts were exhibited in Vienna, Munich, The Haag, Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki.
Eva Béve received many appreciative words from critics. Her landscapes from Holland and some of her Italian woodcuts were especially popular. At an exhibition in San Fransisco, she received not only praise but also a silver medal. She was ambitious and productive. Despite being ill at times, she continued to improve herself and learn new things. Her personality was perceived as unassuming and she was said to be completely free from envy. She remained single — her brother and his family were closest to her.
Eva Béve’s career came to a hasty and dramatic end. In 1922 she was found dead on a railway line at Peissen station, near Halle in Germany. The circumstances were unclear — robbery and murder were both suspected.
After Eva Bevé’s death, her work was included in the great woodcut exhibition at the National museum in 1942. She is currently represented as the Gothenburg Art Museum and the National museum in Stockholm. Six years after her death, in 1928, she was laid to rest in the Béve family grave at the Northern Cemetery in Solna.