Born in London in 1864 to a Swedish father and English mother, Julius Olsson was entirely self-taught. This allowed him to develop his own style of sea-painting, free from the traditions which had dominated the genre.
His ability to capture the ephemeral nature of sea and sky is renowned but it is perhaps his sensitivity to colour which makes his seascapes "stand out" (David Tovey, Creating a Splash). In particular, Olsson broke new ground in his observation that foam, traditionally depicted as white, in fact contained a myriad of colours, reflecting shades from sky, cloud, and sea.
Julius Olsson was a member of the N.E.A.C. 1891 and exhibited at the R.A. from 1890; A.R.A. 1914, R.A. 1920. He served in the R.N.V.R. in the 1914-18 War. P.R.O.I. 1919.
Olsson worked mainly in Cornwall and died 7 September 1942 at Dalkey, Ireland. There was a Memorial exhibition at the R.B.A. Galleries 1952.
He is represented in several public collections.