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Pehr Hillström Elder,  Self Portrait,  1771. Foto: Erik Cornelius / Nationalmuseum

STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has made a major loan of works to the Pehr Hilleström exhibition at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki. The loan comprises some 20 works by this artist best known for his documentary paintings of 18th-century Stockholm. The exhibition opens on 4 September and runs until 11 January. 

This is the first time that a Finnish gallery has mounted a comprehensive exhibition of works by the Swedish artist Pehr Hilleström (1732–1816). Nationalmuseum in Stockholm has contributed some 20 paintings by Hilleström, one of Sweden’s most highly regarded artists of the 18th century. The works on loan include Testing Eggs, Kitchen Scene, Card Game at the Home of Elis Schröderheim, Public Banquet at Stockholm Castle New Year’s Eve 1779, plus two self-portraits and an enigmatic portrait of Carl Michael Bellman.In all, 50 of Hilleström’s best-known paintings are on display. The exhibition was planned by Nationalmuseum’s Mikael Ahlund, who also wrote the commentary for the accompanying book. 

Pehr Hilleström portrayed the entire spectrum of life in the Gustavian era, from idle young ladies in elegant drawing rooms to industrious working-class wives going about their domestic chores. He is famous for his almost documentary depictions of city fires and official ceremonies in 18th-century Stockholm. His wide range of motifs includes industry, landscapes and scenes from the theatre. In his later years, he also turned to historical and religious motifs. 

The exhibition Pehr Hillström – 1700s in the spotlight shown on Sinebrychoff in Helsinki between 4 September and 11 January 2015.

Pehr Hilleström (1732‒1816), The Inner Gallery of the Royal Museum at the Royal Palace, Stockholm, 1796. Oil on canvas 44,5 x 60,5 cm. Nationalmuseum, Tukholma. Photo © Nationalmuseum, Tukholma/Stockholm

Pehr Hilleström (1732‒1816), The Inner Gallery of the Royal Museum at the Royal Palace, Stockholm, 1796. Oil on canvas 44,5 x 60,5 cm. Nationalmuseum, Tukholma. Photo © Nationalmuseum, Tukholma/Stockholm