Portrait of an unknown lady
Signed Roslin S. and dated 1769. Canvas, oval 65 x 54 cm. Contemporary gilded and bronzed frame.
800 000 - 1 000 000 SEK
76 409 - 95 511 EUR
Sold at Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet, Stockholm, Sweden, 1935.
Nordén Auktioner, Stockholm, Sweden, Auction no 20, 30th Novemer 1999, catalogue no 150.
Malmö Museum, "Roslinutställningen", 1962, catalogue no 36.
Allmänna Tidningar, 28th September 1771, see letter by Johan Hinric Lidéns "Om de nyaste Fransyske Konstnärer".
Gunnar W Lundberg, "Roslin - Liv och verk" Volume II, listed under catalogue no 300, p. 56.
Alexander Roslin was born in 1718 in Malmö and was the son of city physician Hans Roslin and Catherine Wertmüller. He began his artistic career, after having devoted himself first to studies in construction of ships, as a student of Lars Ehrenbill. Studies then continued in Stockholm for the court portraitist Georg Engelhard Schröder and then Roslin spent some years at the court of Brandenburg Culmbach and travelled around in Italy. In 1752 he went to Paris and was asked to assist the French court painter Boucher when he depicted the king's mistress, Madame de Pompadour.
In 1753 Roslin was elected into the French Academy of Fine Arts and was represented at the Paris Salon that year with not less than five portraits. Thus began an illustrious career in the city Roslin always dreamed of, and rarely has a foreign artist there so quickly passed through and won the art-loving inhabitants of Paris hearts.
As one of his era's most prominent stuff painter Roslin got a wast variety of assignements and was awarded a government pension and artist residence in the Louvre. The good Swedish-French relations at this time and fine letter of recommendation from the Court in Parma the doors to the French society opened.
From 1773, he changed his signature to Chevalier Roslin from Roslin le Suédois on the grounds that he was awarded the Order of Vasa.
Among Roslin models were officers, fellow artists and royalty. He was the artist in fashion and his success lay in his ability to capture the extravagant suits with the perfect representation of the plumes, lace and fabrics like silk. His brush caught the light reflex in the lavish and shimmering fabrics but also in the skin, sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks. He was a gifted portraitist and captured the characters with crisp clarity and with his personal finesse he depicted the influential people of this time.
After revisiting Sweden, where he painted members of the Swedish royal family, he also worked in St. Petersburg, Warsaw and Vienna before returning to France. Alexander Roslin died at his home in the Louvre in summer of 1793.
Viewing: May 29th – June 3rd at Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Open: Mon–Fri 11–18, Sat–Sun 11–17
Auction: June 4th–5th at Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm
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