Egron Sillif Lundgren (1815 - 1875)
"Portrait of a Lady Dressed for a Masked Ball"
Watercolour and gouache on paper; Signed with initials to the right: EL
Image size: 46 x 34.5 cm.
Please note: The price quoted here is from the artwork only.
The frame comes free with this artwork. Any damage in transit to the frame / mount / picture glass will not be subject to any refunds, discounts or re-framing costs from us.
This exquisite large scale watercolour was painted by the 19th-century Swedish artist Egron Sillif Lundgren. He was born in Stockholm in 1815, and later trained at the Academy of Stockholm, and in Paris in the studio of Leon Cogniet.
In the 1840s and 50s, he travelled widely, visiting Italy, Spain, Egypt and India and developed a taste for the exotic. In Spain, he came under the influence of the Scottish painter, John (“Spanish”) Phillip and he started to move away from painting in oils to painting with watercolour. Indeed, Lundgren is often thought of as the “father of watercolour painting in Sweden”.
In 1849 on his travels through Italy, Lundgren interestingly served under the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi in the siege of Rome.
As an artist, he made his name in England - where Lundgren settled in 1853. His reputation was secured when he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to paint ceremonial portraits. In 1857, Lundgren accompanied Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde on his campaign to quell the Indian Rebellion; he produced hundreds of sketches recording his trip and the people he met. Lundgren was elected an associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society, London in February 1864, and was later made a full member in 1867.
Lundgren excelled at watercolours - and he often favoured Oriental scenes and subjects (landscapes, genres and fancy portraits). He is best known for his dramatic watercolour and gouache studies of beautiful ladies in exotic costume. Pictures of stunning young women in “fancy” costume were very popular in the 19th century - and Lundgren took delight in both capturing shimmering images of the sitter, as well as concentrating on all the details of their dazzling costumes. His portraits featuring ladies dressed to attend masked balls allowed him to concentrate on depicting fine textiles, jewellery and coiffure, often with all details illuminated against a darker background.
This large museum quality watercolour is signed in the background with his initials: EL (he often only used his initials discretely placed in the background to sign his compositions). It is certainly a charming and most vibrant portrait - showing a lady in “fancy dress” for a masque. The lady wears a fine costume, probably based on Victorian interpretations of the type of dress which would have been worn at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots. The lady holds a black mask in her hand to wear when she attends the ball.
Examples of his work are in the National Museum, Stockholm and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
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