I do not care about my own appearance, but I would hope that people could see my soul, and that is presented better in these photographs than in others."
August Strindberg continually sought new avenues for his artistic talents. These included at times intensive experiments in photography, the innovation of the age.
Self-portraits and role figures were among Strindberg's favourite photographic themes. Staying in Gersau in Switzerland in 1886, Strindberg photographed a series of
portraits of himself in the roles of author, paterfamilias, gentleman, musician etc. In many of the photographs of the Gersau series the composition is impressionistically
asymmetrical with peculiar croppings. In the 1890s Strindberg was taken with the idea of photographing the human soul and spoke at length of "psychological portraits"
to be taken with a lensless camera. Strindberg was able to realize some of his photographic ideas with assistance of the professional photographers John Lundgren,
Otto Johansson and Herman Anderson.
The occult and Strindberg's interest in the mysterious forms of nature were starting points for his "celestographs" and "crystallizations" which were photographed
without using a lens. They prefigured in surprising way the photographic experiments of the surrealists in the 1920s. The world of clouds fascinated Strindberg in
the late stages of his photography in the first decades of the twentieth century.