Alexander Roslin


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(b Malmö, 15 July 1718; d Paris, 5 July 1793).

Swedish portrait painter (in oils and pastel), active mainly in France. He left his country in 1745, worked at the courts of Bayreuth (1745–7) and Parma (1751–2), and in 1752 settled in Paris. There he rapidly became one of the leading portraitists of the day, esteemed particularly for his skilful rendering of expensive fabrics and delicate complexions (‘Satin, skin? Go to Roslin’). In the 1770s he visited Moscow, St Petersburg, Vienna, and Warsaw (as well as Stockholm), but in spite of his international travels his elegant work was entirely French in style. His wife, Marie-Suzanne Giroust (1734–72), was a pastellist and miniaturist. One of Roslin's finest works is an enchanting portrait of her entitled The Lady with a Fan (1768, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm).

Subjects: Art.

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