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Carl Sparre, Governor of Stockholm
  • Artist Johan Tobias Sergel (Swedish, 1740 - 1814)
  • TitleCarl Sparre, Governor of Stockholm
  • Dating 1782
  • Technique/MaterialPatinated plaster
  • Dimensions89 cm
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1933
  • CategorySculpture
  • Inventory NumberSk 343
  • Display StatusOn display in The Sergel Gallery II (Room 11)
Signatures etc.
Governor of Stockholm Carl Sparre (1723-1791) was a Swedish baron, chief general and politician. He was very influential in Swedish political life and contributed to the development of the city of Stockholm. Sparre became friends with diplomat Carl Gustaf Tessin and followed him to Paris. In 1741 Sparre was called back to Sweden and entered the military during the war against Russia. Later, he participated in several wars in Europe. In 1774 he was elected into the Royal Academy of Sciences. He reluctantly traveled with Gustav III during his Italian trip 1783-1784, after which Sparre's influence decreased.

Although the signature is difficult to read, this plaster bust was probably executed in 1782. A marble version of the same sculpture is found in Börsen in Stockholm, dated 1784. Sergel resided in Rome 1767-1778 and returned to Sweden in 1779, when his most productive period as a portraitist began - in Rome he did no such commissions. Sergel was diligently hired by the king and the aristocracy for portrait orders that eventually bored him. His sculptured portraits were praised for their naturalism and austere elegance, characteristics as evidenced by this work.

The plaster bust is bronze patinated. It is available in several copies, one of which is in Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

Kristoffer Arvidsson