Early 18th Century Portrait, Oil on Canvas. Attributed to Michael Dahl (1659-1743)
Three Quarter length Portrait. An officer in Armour, exquisitely painted arm, hands and face representing the great skill of the artist.
Canvas Size: 40" x 32" | 102cm x 81cm
Framed Size: 48 x 40" | 122cm x 102cm
Biography: Michael Dahl (1659–1743) was a Swedish portrait painter who lived and worked in England most of his career and died there. He was one of the most internationally known Swedish painters of his time. He painted portraits of many aristocrats and some members of royal families, such as Queen Anne of Great Britain, Prince George of Denmark and the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden.
Michael Dahl was born in Sweden, and trained under the court portraitist David Ehrenstrahl. Like many Swedish artists, however, he left for London (in 1682) in search of patronage after political turmoil in Stockholm reduced the wealth and power of the aristocracy. A number of Dahl’s compatriots saw England as being relatively stable and prosperous compared to many European countries, and more welcoming than France, for example, of the Lutheran faith then prevalent in Sweden. Dahl worked briefly in Kneller’s studio, but then travelled to Rome to study further, copying old masters and successfully seeking commissions from the exiled Queen Kristina of Sweden. This last fact may be explained by his secret conversion to Catholicism. In 1688 he returned to England, where he may have been hoping for support from the Catholic King James II. But Dahl arrived in early 1689, by which time the ‘Glorious Revolution’ had deposed James and replaced him with his daughter Mary and her Protestant husband William of Orange. Dahl did not portray the new monarchs, but did gain much patronage from the rest of the court, and in particular Prince George of Denmark, the husband of the future Queen Anne. Dahl’s portraits can today be found in numerous collections and country houses.
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