Alexander Roslin

Sweden / 1718 - 1793 / wikipedia
Alexander Roslin (often spelled Alexandre in French; 15 July 1718 – 5 July 1793); Swedish portrait painter who worked in Scania, Bayreuth, Paris, Italy, Warsaw and St. Petersburg, primarily for members of aristocratic families. He combined insightful psychological portrayal with a skillful representation of fabrics and jewels. In his choice of style and lustrous, shimmering colors Alexander Roslin exemplifies Rococo. He lived in France from 1752 until 1793, a period that spanned most of his career. Rococo artists opted for a more jocular, elegant and ornate style, characterized by lightness, elegance and graceful approach to art and architecture. The painting by Roslin depicting Jeanne Sophie de Vignerot du Plessis, Countess of Egmont Pignatelli, was bought by the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2006 for US$3 million.

Alexander Roslin was born on 15 July 1718, in Malmö, Sweden, the son of naval physician Hans Roslin and Catherine Wertmüller. After showing an unusual talent for drawing and painting, he trained in drawing at Karlskrona under Admiralty Captain Lars Ehrenbill in order to become a naval draughtsman, and then began to paint miniatures. Stockholm had become an intellectual and artistic center since Queen Christina had established connections with Paris, and Alexander Roslin moved there. At the age of 16 he became apprenticed to the court painter Georg Engelhard Schröder in Stockholm, studying painting there until 1741 and beginning to paint large portraits in oils. Schröder was influenced by Hyacinthe Rigaud and Nicolas de Largillière. In 1741, Roslin settled in Gothenburg, and the following year moved to Scania, where he remained until 1745 painting portraits and also creating religious paintings for the church at Hasslöv.

...Roslin had great technical skill in painting the surfaces and texture of precious materials such as fabrics and jewels, but was also adept at capturing his sitters at their best....
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First Collected by

Ursula Oberst


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