7 Jul 2011

Pehr Hilleström

Self portrait

Today I went to a small art exhibition in central Stockholm (the one Johanna Öst wrote about here!) and it was lovely. Several Swedish 18th century artists were featured (among some Roslin and Wertmüller) but what I had anticipated most were some ten works of my favourite Pehr Hilleström! I wasn't disappointed!

This particular painting wasn't featured

It was so great to see paintings I only had seen in books or online and so close you could make out every little detail. Candy for the soul!

You can find quite a few of Hilleström's paintings by a Google image search which is great. What would be even greater was if someone made an up-to-date book on the artist and his career because the last time that happened was in 1929!

Although a treasure to me, the book (Pehr Hilleström som kulturskildrare vol. 1-2, Gerda Cederblom, Nordiska Museet) features mostly black and white images and not always of superb quality.

Nevertheless, I have a long-term plan to scan every one of those paintings for fun and for reference. I have not come very far...

But above you have seen a few; the rest can be found in this set on Flickr. The images may not be of great quality, but enjoy anyway!


  1. I like the art of Pehr Hilleström too :)

    Does your book have a register of where these paintings could be?

    If theyre in a museum you could email them and ask for color photos, it worked for me when I saw a black and white photo of a painting. You might have to pay a small fee though. (mine was 70 krona)

    Swedish museums are in the midst of digitalizing their collections so I cant think it would be too hard to track it down.(Unless the paintings are privately owned)

    Sincerely Sofia

    PS I dont really use that LJ account anymore but it was the only thing that would allow me to post.

  2. Hi Sofia!

    Well, I think most of the paintings in the book was privately owned, at least then, so they would be extremely hard to track down if they still are :( One often sees Hilleström paintings up for auction, they seem very popular. I'm really impatient for our museums to reveal their "hidden" collections digitally for us, imagine how much there is that we don't know of...

    Thanks for the tip on contacting a museum for better pictures, I guess it varies from museum to museum but they are obliged to hand us information because of the "offentlighetsprincipen" :D or so I've heard. Not always for free, though.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Thats a pity :(

    Actually,strangely I saw a Hilleström painting at my local museum last week Being totally unaware of it until that moment I was quite taken aback. (yep i love art especially 18th century :P)

    The card described it as portrait of the artists daughter Ulrica. It was a very charming painting.

    There was also a Wertmuller portait (of Marie Antoinette portrait fame) of his mother in law, that was quite lovely to watch.

    During my visit I was taken behind the scenes to see the archives..so i know only a small percentage is being displayed.

    We also got a quick glimpse of the custome dept (everything was in boxes though so we didnt see much)

    Didnt see any 18th century clothes..but there was a charming victorian gown.

    I wish Id have taken some photos. I had my camera and everything but this museum employee kept sneaking looks at me,so I got flustered and didnt have the nerve :/