An American painter of Western landscapes who was born in Stockholm Sweden, Gunnar Mauritz Widforss is particularly known for his paintings of the American National Parks.
His travels were extensive, in his quest to find landscapes he visited Africa, locations around Europe, Russia and the United States. He enjoyed little success during his travels but was a popular artist in his native Sweden, enjoying the patronage of the aristocratic and royal classes.
In 1921, he returned to America, on his way to the Orient, and ended up settling in California.
Stephen T. Mather believed Gunnar Mauritz Widforss to be capable of representing on canvas the beauty of the National Parks, of which Mather was the director. In 1922, he persuaded Widforss to take up the task and by 1923 the artist had provided the illustrations for the book "Songs of Yosemite". His art surged in popularity, being published as magazine covers and in other commercial forms and eventually becoming regarded as some of the finest examples of landscape paintings of the American West.
Widforss travelled extensively throughout the western states, painting canyons and mountains, including a series of the Grand Canyon. He died and is buried at the Grand Canyon.