...Financially strengthened, Jansson began enlisting volunteer models from the Swedish Navy's cold-water bath-house on the island of Skeppsholmen in Stockholm . From 1907 he worked nearby in a provisional studio at Skeppsholmen, painting nude or semi-nude young men performing aerobics, training with weights or swimming in open-air baths. Jansson's new subject matter reveals the new vitalist philosophy. A German-Scandinavian movement incorporating Nietzsche's philosophy and the biological theories of Hans Driesch and Ernst Haeckel. Embraced by the Swedish artist colleague J.A.G. Acke (1859-1924) who became instrumental in introducing 'Open-air Vitalism' to Swedish art in 1904, Eugene Jansson was encouraged to explore the theme of human perfectibility in relation to nature. It became an important link between nineteenth-century Symbolism and twentieth-century Modernism.
The critic Axel Gauffin emphasised that Jansson's figure paintings ought not to be conceived as portrayals of reality: We should not expect of these nudes, he insisted 'an academic study with a traditional treatment of the skin, any more than we should of the impalpable, attractive colour play of the expressionists. What Jansson is seeking is the opposite, he is seeking nerves and muscles under the surface of a living ecorche.' (www.leicestergalleries.com)