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Jóhann Briem (1907-1991) studied art under the great artist and painter Jón Jónsson, brother of another master of the arts, Ásgrímur Jónsson. Other mentors were landscape painter Eyjólfur Eyfells and sculptor Ríkharður Jónsson in Reykjavík.

Jóhann studied at the Akademie Simonson-Castelli with Woldemar Winkler and then at the Staatliche Kunstakademie with Max Feldbauer and Ferdinand Dorsch. Growing in his studies, he developed poetic expressionism, combining a warm color scheme, simple imagery and vivid brushstrokes in images often showing animals and people in nature – according to the Art Museum of Iceland.