A Swedish painter and cartoonist, Fougstedt was born in Stockholm where he studied at the Technical School. He worked for a time as a draughtsman at the Swedish satirical magazine ‘Puck’ before moving to Paris to continue his studies. There he studied at the Académie Colarossi under Christian Krohg and at the Henri Matisse school. During the Paris years, he was influenced by Jacques-Louis David's work and the French Renaissance masters. In 1916 he journeyed to Madrid where he was commissioned to copy Memling’s altar piece triptych in the Prado Museum. On his return to Sweden in 1917, his style reached a synthesis of French Empire, French Cubism, German Renaissance and Dutch early Renaissance. In 1918 he produced "Ingredients in David's studio" a painting statement that aligned himself with the New Objectivity movement.
The New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) emerged as a style in Germany in the 1920s as a challenge to Expressionism. As its name suggests, it offered a return to unsentimental reality and a focus on the objective world, as opposed to the more abstract, romantic, or idealistic tendencies of Expressionism. The style is most often associated with portraiture, and its leading practitioners included Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and George Grosz.
He spent time in Öland with the Vickleby School that centered around the painter William Nording and back on the mainland studied graphic art under the master etcher Axel Tallberg. He undertook a study trip to Italy in 1921 with Leander Engström and on his return attended the "Fala Gens" exhibition in Stockholm. He established himself as a major portrait artist. His best known works Famous works include "Five Artists" (1920, Gripsholm) and "Board of Österlens museum" (1945 Österlens museum, Simrishamn). He became in 1934 a member of the Academy of Arts and in 1937 professor of drawing there.