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Gustave d’Adelswärd
Washerwomen on the beach of Etretat
Oil on canvas : 126 X 200 cm
Signed and dated bottom right “G. Adelswärd 1892”
Sold at Stockholms Autionsverk, Stockholm, 13/06/12
For 367.500 SEK = 41.490 €

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Adelswärd, Gustave d'
"Washerwomen on the Rhone"
In short
 
Baron Gustave d’Adelswärd was a French captain of industry and a very good painter, who died at the age of 52. Just as his father, who was also already born in France, he kept, besides the French nationality the Swedish one. 
Artistically he was a typical exponent of the late 19th century: he seems to have been a rather gentle, dull painter, who made also a few exceptional, very strong paintings, such as ours.
 
About Gustave d’Adelswärd
 
French-Swedish baron, industrial and painter
Lyon 1843 – 1895 Paris
 
His name is also spelt Gustaf Adelswärd.
 
Pupil of the portrait and history painter Léon Bonnat (1833 – 1922) in Paris. John Singer Sargent, Gustave Caillebotte, George Braque, Raoul Dufy, Edvard Munch and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec had also been Bonnat’s pupils.
 
Gustave was the eldest son of Baron Renaud (Reinhold) Casimir Oscar d’Adelswärd (1811 – 1898) who was a French-Swedish industrial and politician. He participated in the war in Algeria, but left the army in 1844 and settled in Nancy, where he became the head of the National Guard. He founded the iron and steel industry in Longwy, Briey, bringing prosperity to the region.
He was a supporter of Napoleon III and was elected in the National Assembly in Paris in 1848. After Napoleon III took power in 1851 he retired from public offices and wrote a few novels and political pamphlets.
 
Our Gustave d’Adelswärd married in 1874 with Mathilde Jeanne de Pourtalès (1854 – 1934). The couple had no children. The de Pourtalès were also a very wealthy family.
 
Our painter exhibited at the Salon du Champ de Mars in Paris, between 1876 and 1895, and in Stockholm in the 1880s and 1890s. He died unfortunately in 1895, only 52 years old.
 
As an engeneer and mechanic, Gustave took an active part in the development of the blast-furnaces in northern France, especially in the Longwy region and at Audun-le-Tiche (Alsace); the 300 coke furnaces at the Tilleur mill (near Liège, in Belgium) were built under his supervision.
He also greatly improved the beer production of Brewery La Comète at Châlons-sur-Marne (Champagne).
 
Gustave’s younger brother, Axel (1847 – 1887) died at the age of forty of yellow fever while sailing in Panama. His son Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen (1880 – 1923) was a notorious homosexual dandy, novelist and poet who lived on the island of Capri. Roger Peyrefitte wrote his famous fictionalised biography in 1959, “L’exilé de Capri”.
 
About our painting
 
Gustave d’Alderswärd painted his masterpiece in 1894, one year before he passed away.
 
Why should you buy this painting?
 
Because it is a masterpiece of late 19th century French painting.
 
Because it is mystery within the rather uninspired artistic production of an industrial: which angel was holding his brush when he suddenly decided to paint this? A grandiose composition with a flaming sky, a landscape with incredible colours and fabulous reflections in the water.
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