The Lady with the Veil by Alexander Roslin
The Lady with the Veil by Alexander Roslin

The Lady with the Veil

The Lady with the Veil (the Artist’s Wife) c1768 by Swedish Painter Alexander Roslin (1718 – 1793); portrait painter of the aristocratic families of Europe.

This is a wonderful portrait of Marie Suzanne Giroust (1734 – 1772), the wife of the artist Alexander Roslin in which she has her head a quarter of her face covered in a veil.

In her right hand is a fan that she has placed close to her face that secretly conveys the message I Love You; which was the message she was sending to her husband when he created the painting.

We can also see her light tan blouse that shows underneath her hand that us over her chest and that pops out from under the sleeve of her pink dress that has blue floral accents along the cuff; and she is also wearing a burgundy mitten on her right hand, while standing in front of a large block stone wall.

The Lady with the Veil is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.

Alexander was born to the naval physician Hans Roslin and his wife Catherine Wertmüller on July 15, 1718; and showing an early talent for drawing and painting he was sent to Karlskrona, Sweden to be trained in drawing under the Admiralty Captain Lars Ehrenbill (1697–1747), so that he could become a naval draughtsman.

It was during this time that he also began painting miniatures and would later move to Stockholm, Sweden; which at the time had become an intellectual and artistic center [due to the efforts of Queen Christina (1626 – 1689 ruled from 1644 – 1654), who had established ties with Paris, France], and at the age of sixteen became apprenticed to the Swedish court painter Georg Engelhard Schröder (1684 – 1750); remaining there studying painting until 1941, moving to Gothenburg, and then Scania the following year, where he stayed for the next four years.

Thin in 1745 Alexander left Sweden for Bayreuth, Germany upon receiving an invitation to work for Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (1711 – 1763) of the House of Hohenzollern and eldest son of Georg Frederick Karl (1688 – 1735).

Two years later he moved to Italy to study the works of the great masters; then later that year moved to Paris, France where is he would settle and remain for the rest of his life.

In 1759 at the age of 41 he married the pastel painter Marie-Suzanne Giroust (1734 – 1772) with whom had six children (three sons and three daughters); and would paint a portrait of his wife in 1768 with her dressed in Bolognese fashion in a piece called Lady with Veil; he also painted a double portrait of him and his wife, she is depicted working in pastels on a portrait of Henrik Wilhelm Peill (1730 – 1797), while he points to a gold box he received from Peill as a present.

While living in Paris, Alexander became a protégé of French Painter François Boucher (1703 – 1770), which quickly made his artwork fashionable in France, and help lead to him being selected as a member of the French Art Academy, to which his wife also belonged; soon becoming one of the foremost portraitists of his time, valued mostly for practiced rendering of luxurious fabrics and gentle complexions.

Though Alexander was a foreigner he was award in 1765, a state pension and a free apartment in the Louuvre; and in the following year was awarded the Royal Order of Vasa by Sweden, after which he was called Roslin le Chevalier or Roslin the knight.

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