Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"

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Nils Forsberg (1842-1934) Swedish

Oil Sketch for the Painting "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"

oil on canvas
painted c. 1895-1899
stamp signed on the front and authenticated a tergo
canvas dimensions 18.30 x 24.21 inches (46.5 x 61.5 cm)
frame 22.44 x 28.34 inches (57 x 72 cm)

Essay
This piece is a oil sketch for the renowned masterpiece 'Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen', currently housed in the Göteborgs Konstmuseum. 

The allure of an unfinished oil sketch lies in its ability to offer a rare glimpse into the artist's creative process, revealing the initial conception of the motif. Historically, the spontaneous and often rapid execution of such sketches has fascinated art collectors. Notably, masters like Rubens and Van Dyck were known to intentionally leave their works in a seemingly 'unfinished' state, often completing them in under an hour.

Nils Forsberg's artistic journey took a pivotal turn when he left Sweden in his mid-twenties for a brief trip to Paris. This excursion, initially planned for just a few weeks, unexpectedly extended to a 35-year sojourn from 1867 to 1902. During this period, Forsberg honed his craft under the tutelage of the esteemed painter Léon Bonnat. It was at Bonnat's school where he crossed paths with the prominent Swedish artist Gustaf Cederström.

Forsberg's talent culminated in his largest work, 'Gustaf Adolf before the Battle of Lützen', which he showcased at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. The oil sketch we possess is a crucial preparatory study, focusing on one of the figures in this grand painting. This character is positioned to the far right, a detail more closely explored this image: 




Provenance:
From a private collection, Sweden

 

 

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Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"
Nils Forsberg - Oil Sketch for "Gustavus II Adolphus before the Battle of Lützen"