nationalmuseum in stockholm

Alexander Roslin, The Lady with a Fan (The Artist’s Wife), 1768, oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Source

Here is Marie-Suzanne Giroust looking super coy and sexy in a portrait painted by her Swedish husband. Madame Roslin was also an artist in her own right, working mainly with oils and pastels.


All these portraits look slightly similar, and there’s a reason for that: all were made by the same early 18th century artist of which we almost never hear about: Rosalba Carriera.

You may think; “So you mean that there was this woman who was an artist but was neglected by history (or the way history has been written) even though she was awesome, and in this case, totally influential in art all around Europe, and most of us HAVE NEVER HEARD ABOUT HER?!”. Yeah, I mean exactly that. BUT today is the day to learn a little bit about her and take a look at some of her work.

Rosalba Carriera was born in 1673 in Venice in a middle-class family and started helping her mother making and designing lace, but soon she turned to portrait miniatures, and her career as an artist started. Some people consider that she was trained by Giuseppe Diamantini (pure speculation) or by someone else, but the fact is that there is no record of her education and she was most likely self educated (I have to say that if she was a guy, the self-taught part wouldn’t even be questioned. WHY.)

ANYWAY, her miniatures became quite popular, and if you were a wealthy person in the grand tour around Europe, you wanted to have your portrait made by this lady, who was the first artist to paint the miniature portraits on ivory instead of vellum. By 1703-4 she changed the miniatures to pastel, which became a medium appealing to the Rococo style thanks to its softness… and talking about Rococo, Carriera was a VERY influential artist from this movement, because of her style (clearly Rococo) becoming popular and making her travel around Europe and selling pieces to kings, court members and collectors, making the Rococo style being known while she traveled. I know, she was a rockstar.

Both her sisters were her assistant during the time her work was most popular helping Rosalba work on the many portrait jobs she took, but her sister Giovanna kept working with her until her death in 1738, which caused Rosalba to turn into depression. It did only get worse as her vision failed at the end of her life, getting blind before dying in 1757. Awful way to end an artist’s life, if you ask me.

Still, even though she’s not that famous nowadays, she was a VERY successful artist in her time and became a strong influence in other women artists like Catherine Read, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard and our beloved Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

This was supposed to be a short post, but no XD Sorry about that.

Images from top:

  1. Self-portrait Holding a Portrait of Her Sister Giovanna, 1715, Uffizi Gallery.
  2. Charles Sackville, 2nd duke of Dorset, 1730.
  3. Horace Walpole.
  4. Portrait of a Man, ca. 1710, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  5. Pisana Mocenigo, née Corner (or Cornaro), Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.
  6. Portrait of Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Holy Roman Empress, 1730, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.
  7. Louis XV of France as Dauphin, 1720-21, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.
  8. Portrait of Antoine Watteau, 1721, Museo Civico Luigi Bailo.
  9. Africa, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister.
  10. The Art Collector and Artist Antonio Maria Zanetti the Elder, Nationalmuseum (Stockholm).

Nils Forsberg - Death of a Hero [1888] by Gandalf
Via Flickr:
Nils Forsberg (Riseberga, December 17, 1842 - Helsingborg, November 8, 1934) was a Swedish artist. Nils Forsberg was born in a poor home outside the village of Riseberga, as the son of a crofter Ola Forsberg and Kristina Persdotter. He began at an early age to work as a shepherd boy with the farmers in the neighbourhood. When his parents decided that he would be apprenticed to a shoemaker, he escaped from home and went to Helsingborg where he ended up as an apprentice to a painter.

[Nationalmuseum, Stockholm - Oil on canvas]

Annibale Carracci, Nude Study of a Young Man Lying on his Back with his Head Thrown Back, Eyes Closed, 1583-85, red chalk Nationalmuseum, Stockholm


Monet at Poissy (30)
At the edge
The weather wasn’t helping Monet a lot during his summer painting campaign in Pourville. He had to wait for bright spells with patience. These edge of the cliff views seem to illustrate quite different weather conditions.

Claude Monet,
- Bord de la falaise à Pourville (Cliff near Pourville),1882. Oil on canvas, 60 x 81 cm. The MET, New York
- Sur la falaise à Pourville (On the Cliff at Pourville), 1882. Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden
- Sur la falaise de Pourville, temps clair (On the Cliff at Pourville, Clear Weather), 1882. Oil on canvas, 64,7 x 80,7 cm. MoMA, New York
- Bord des falaises à Pourville (Edge of the cliffs at Pourville),1882. Oil on canvas, 61 x 100 cm. Private collection
- Bords de la falaise à Pourville (Edge of the cliff at Pourville),1882. Oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm. Private collection
- Sur la falaise à Dieppe (On the Cliff of Dieppe), 1882. Oil on canvas, 60 x 100 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA

Johan Gustaf Sandberg (Swedish, 1782–1854) Fem konstnärer (Raffaell, Rembrandt, Nicolas Poussin, Albrecht Dürer and Peter Paul Rubens). Nationalmuseum, Stockholm


Monet on the Run - 50. Heading for Holland
In Paris, “la semaine sanglante” started on May 21, 1871. By a conservative estimate, 20.000 Parisians would die in the streets of the French capital during that Bloody Week.

Monet left England in late May. He didn’t return to France, but rather took his wife and son on a boat to Holland. They continued their journey by train and boat to Zaandam and finally checked in at hotel ‘De Beurs’ on June 2nd.
That same day, Monet wrote to his friend Pissarro, who was still in London, that they had “travelled almost the whole of Holland” and that the country was “much more beautiful than people say”.

He started painting it right away and with enthusiasm.

Claude Monet,
- The Zaan at Zaandam, 1871. Oil on canvas, 42 x 73 cm. Private collection
- Boats on the Zaan, 1871. Oil on canvas, 35 x 71 cm. Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum, Swansea, UK
- The Banks of the Zaan, 1871. Oil on canvas, 33 x 70 cm. Private collection 
- The Voorzaan, 1871. Oil on canvas, 39 x 71 cm. Private collection
- View of the Voorzaan, 1871. Oil on canvas, 18 x 38 cm. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
- Marine, Holland, 1871. Oil on canvas, 34 x74cm. Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

Home at Charlottenborg
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (Danish; 1783–1853)
ca. 1824
Pencil, wash on paper
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden