Hedvig Eleonora, Queen Dowager of Sweden 1660-1719

David Klöcker Ehrenstrahlc. 1661

The Royal Armoury, Sweden

The Royal Armoury, Sweden

The portrait in a painted oval shows the Queen Dowager in half length, face to the left. She is dressed in a black robe with a broad cape of ermine over her shoulders. On her head a pointed black hood, a necklace of black pearls and on her breast, tying the cape together, a black rhomboid brooch – all reminding of her status as a mourning widow.
She was only 24 years old when her husband King Charles X died in 1660. She was then left alone with their only child, the 4 year old Prince Charles (XI).

It is not signed.

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  • Title: Hedvig Eleonora, Queen Dowager of Sweden 1660-1719
  • Date Created: c. 1661
  • Provenance: Bought at the Stockholm’s Quality Auction in 1968, the seller was Captain Carl von Essen. Donation from the Foundation of the Royal Armoury.
  • Physical Dimensions: w700 x h860 mm (Without frame)
  • Painter: David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl
  • Description: David Klöcker Ehrenstrahl is largely recognized as the finest painter of the Swedish Caroline era. The young David Klöcker made his first Swedish connection when he was hired as a clerk during the peace negotiations in Westphalia 1646-48. After that he travelled to Amsterdam where he studied under the German painter Juriaen Jacobsz. He came in contact with the Swedish Governor General of Pomerania, Carl Gustaf Wrangel and accompanied him to Sweden where he was introduced at the Royal Court and painted for the Queen Dowager Maria Eleonora. She later paid for his study trip to Italy and several European courts before returning and settling as court painter in 1661. He became the foremost portrait painter of the Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora who commissioned innumerable portraits by him of herself, her son, and later the family of her son. She also used his skills for a big image programme celebrating the Palatine dynasty at her residence of Drottningholm Palace as well as animal pictures in oil, portraits of royal horses and dogs, and elks and wolfs in hunting scenes etc. David Klöcker was raised to nobility and added the name Ehrenstrahl in 1674.
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • External Link: http://emuseumplus.lsh.se/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=53875&viewType=detailView