(b ? Nyköping, Södermanland, c. 1510; d Kronoberg Castle, Småland, 1585–6). Swedish painter and architect. He has been regarded as the most important adviser to the Vasa kings up to the 1570s, and a number of funerary monuments and pieces of furniture as well as buildings have been attributed to him, though none with certainty. In the 1540s he carried out decorative work in the royal castle (replaced c. 1697–1750 by the present Royal Palace) in Stockholm and at Gripsholm Castle. In the State Hall at Gripsholm he may have been responsible for a series of monumental paintings depicting scenes from Roman history, probably making symbolic reference to the Swedish king Gustav I (reg 1523–60), for whom the castle was built. The paintings no longer exist, but they are known from small-scale watercolour copies (Stockholm, Kun. Bib.) made between 1722 and c. 1770. These suggest that the original paintings were influenced by the work of Lucas Cranach the elder. Larsson may also have executed a ceiling painting at Gripsholm that is dated 1543. By the 1590s it had been moved from a larger room and reduced in size. The decoration, painted on panel and still reasonably well preserved, consists of vine scrolls and portrait busts. Here, too, the influence of German painting, this time of Heinrich Aldegrever, is evident. Funerary monuments attributed to Larsson include one for the Swedish governor of Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia), Lars Ivarsson Fleming (d 1562), formerly in Olai Church (destr. late 1820s) in the city, now known only from a drawing. Until 1574 he is said to have been in charge of building works at the royal castles of Stockholm and Svartsjö, outside Stockholm. He was also in charge of the fortifications of Reval and its castle. It seems likely that he fell from favour when members of the Parr family began to work for John III (reg 1568–92) and his brother Duke Karl, later Karl IX (reg 1604–11).
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.