Det karolinska porträttet. Ideologi, ikonografi, identitet

Detta är en avhandling från BTJ Seelig and Raster Förlag AB, Östgötagatan 27, SE-116 25 Stockholm, Sweden, tel +46-8-642 20 16

Sammanfattning: The subject of this thesis is portraiture and its context in Sweden during the Caroline era (1654-1718). Mainly, it focuses on portraits of the political élite, including the Royal family, and on the biographies of the artists that depicted those sitters. The dissertation consists of an introductory chapter and three longer case studies. In the introduction, there is a discussion of the early 20th century interpretations of the portraits of Caroline officers as expressions of a national mentality. The first study concentrates on the portraits of Charles XI (reigned 1660-1697), their iconography, political significance and relationship to images of contemporary rulers. The images of Charles XI, in various techniques, are interpreted in the light of the introduction of Royal autocracy in 1680 and international ideas about kingship. The second study considers the situation for portraitists in late 17th century Europe, using as examples artists in contact with Sweden — Swedes, visiting and naturalised foreigners, immigrants and emigrants. Themes that are discussed in this chapter are the self-fashioning of the Swedish court painter David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl, artist migration and its reasons, the situation for women portraitists, religious aspects and study tours. The third case study concentrates on a collection of portraits of generals and Privy Councillors painted during the reigns of Charles XI and Charles XII (1697-1718). This portrait gallery, consisting of three sets, was installed in three adjoining rooms at Drottningholm around 1730. The portraits can be associated with a new noble ideal, a result of a development that had seen the old feudal aristocracy lose political and economic power to groups that were closely attached to the King and the Government. The gallery conveyed an image of the high nobility as a group of loyal civil servants, whose rank was the result not of birth but of office.

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