Adrien Masreliez (1717-1806)
Jean Eric Rehn (1717-1793)
François-Adrien Grosognon de Latinville (d. 1774)
This magnificent carved giltwood frame contains the portrait of Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden (1720-1782), sister of Frederick the Great. The Queen is depicted as Aurora, en point du jour, with attributes highlighting her Divine status. De Latinville executed the first version of this allegorical portrait in Paris circa 1747-'48 on behalf of Carl Gustaf Tessin, and was probably modelled on a smaller portrait brought to Paris by Carl Harleman. Another version, with a less exuberant frame, was possibly executed before Louisa Ulrika became Queen in 1751, and was donated by Count G.G.G. Oxenstierna to the Gripsholm Castle picture gallery in 1851 (P. Grate, French Paintings, Stockholm, 1988, vol I, p. 182, fig. 168).
The frame is among the most richly-carved items of Swedish furniture of the 18th Century, and was carved by the French sculptor and ornamental carver Adrien Masreliez after a design by the architect, painter and engraver Jean Eric Rehn, who was Court Intendant from 1757 to 1789. It is laden with Royal imagery, including the Royal coat-of-arms of Sweden, and the so-called Northern Star, symbol of the Kingdom of Sweden, which was only used in Royal residences. It is extremely closely related and probably en suite to the celebrated throne in the Royal Castle in Stockholm, which was also executed by Masreliez after a design by Rehn (P. Grate in Le Soleil et l'Etoile du Nord, La France et la Suède au XVIIIe siècle, exh. cat., Paris, 1994, p. 117, fig. 149).
We are grateful to Mr Esbjorn Kronberg for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.