Bringing Home the Body of King Karl XII of Sweden

Gustaf Cederström1884

Nationalmuseum Sweden

Nationalmuseum Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden

Gustaf Cederström painted Bringing Home the Body of King Charles XII of Sweden in Paris in 1877-78. It is an imaginative portrayal of the royal hero's return to Sweden following the fatal shot at Halden in Norway in 1718.

In order to make his picture as realistic as possible, Cederström painted numerous sketches and studies outdoors. He erected a stretcher, with a professional model, an Italian named Raffaele Fusco, lying on it and portraying Charles XII. Several small sketches in oils from 1877 survive. The artist has striven to make each of the soldiers an individual. The people whom he painted were a mixture of professional models, colleagues, friends and relatives. The man with a bandage on his head was the artist's oldest brother. The model for both the child next to the huntsman and the drummer boy was Cederström's six year-old daughter Carola.

The painting was finished just in time to be accepted at the international exhibition in Paris in 1878. It was sold to the Russian Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich. People in Sweden were up in arms the heroic death of the king of Sweden was sold to Russia. A collection was started and Cederström was asked to paint a replica, which was donated to Nationalmuseum. The original painting also made it to Sweden. It is owned by the the Museum of Art in Gothenburg.

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  • Title: Bringing Home the Body of King Karl XII of Sweden
  • Creator: Gustaf Cederström
  • Date Created: 1884
  • Title in Swedish: Karl XIIs likfärd
  • Signature: G. Cederström Krusenberg 1884.
  • Physical Dimensions: w3710 x h2650 cm (without frame)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Nationalmuseum, Nationalmuseum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

Additional Items

Bringing Home the Body of King Karl XII of Sweden (Supplemental)

Bringing Home the Body of King Karl XII of Sweden (Supplemental)