“The little Petra” from 1938 has in recent years become a true classic on the international auction market, but this was not always the case. Danish design is best known for its heyday between 1949 and 1970, but the seed for this success was to a large extent sown with the upholstered furniture from the 1930s, which placed itself between international modernism and Nordic humanism.
Back in the 1930s, there was broad consensus among Danish architects that the focus on form, function and new materials should not be carried out at the expense of human needs and fine craftsmanship. This way of thinking is clearly seen in the furniture from this decade. The soft, humane expression of the furniture pieces was among the first small attempts to create a distinctive Danish interpretation of international modernism.
Viggo Boesen contributed to this development within Danish furniture design. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and began his career in the early 1930s, where he designed a number of upholstered furniture – including the chair called “The Little Petra”, which was named after the architect's mother-in-law and lures in the user with its small and tubby shape that seems ideal for relaxation.