Gustaf Lundberg 1695-1786
En porträttmålare och hans tid
By Merit Laine, Carolina Brown
The young portrait painter Gustaf Lundberg was one of the many artists who left Sweden during the difficult years at the end of Charles Xll:s reign. His goal was Paris, where he became a successful portrait painter in pastels, at first strongly influenced by Rosalba Carriera, but gradually developing a style and technique of his own. Among his clientele were Swedish diplomats, military officers and travellers staying in the French capital, and it was also among this group that he found his most important protectors. Lundberg returned to Sweden in 1745, where he had an immediate and lasting success and eventually became Court painter.
In this, the first monograph on Lundberg since 1902, the authors deal with Lundberg's artistic development and studio practices as well as his career strategies, particularly in Paris where the competition among the pastel painters was very keen. His Swedish career and the portrait types he created are discussed in relation to the ideological, social and political tensions of the times, as well as the stylistic and thematic influences from French literary, philosophical and artistic developments. The circumstances of Lundberg's life and contemporary evaluations of his work are also taken as a starting point of a discussion of the Swedish art scene and market, as well as the artist's role in Swedish society during the eighteenth century, subject matters that have hitherto received little attention from scholars.
The analysis of the career and work of Lundberg is also placed within the wider context of modern portrait theory, as well as eighteenth-century views on portraiture and pastel painting, as they can be reconstructed from the theoretical and critical writings of the time, and also from comments found in the letters and diaries of Lundberg's clientele. Key words: Pastel, Portraiture, Portrait theory, Gender theory, Network theory, Art market, Eighteenth-century Paris, Eighteenth-century Stockholm, GustafLundberg, Carl GustafTessin, Rosalba Carriera.