Une communauté d’artistes et d’artisans français à l’étranger : Le cas des sculpteurs au château royal de Stockholm au XVIIIe siècle

Anne-Sophie Michel

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7557/4.3528

Keywords

cultural transfer; French sculptors; Royal Palace of Stockholm; Swedish artistic policy

Abstract

A Community of French Artists and Craftsmen Abroad: A Case Study of the

Sculptors of the Royal Palace of Stockholm in the Eighteenth Century

 

Following the approach of Linda Hinners’s research, this article comprises a study of French sculptors who worked on the construction of Stockholm’s royal palace in the eighteenth century. Indeed, between 1732 and 1765, the superintendent of royal buildings had recruited, through the action of social networks, thirty French sculptors. To encourage them to leave France, the superintendent offered them very attractive conditions of life and work, and the prospects of a career. Once there, these sculptors created the royal palace decoration from the sketches of the Swedish architects. Beyond their artistic ability, the Swedes utilized their great experience of construction work and technical know-how. Soon, they took over the management of the sculpture works and training of young Swedish craftsmen present on the site. With the recruitment of French experts, the Swedes therefore had skilled and knowledgeable work teams, which created autonomous production workshops. These latter also underwent a modernization process induced by the creation of the Superintendence of royal buildings and the Swedish Royal Academy. Thus, the French appear to have been the actors of a modern artistic policy that allowed Sweden to utilize the French aesthetic model.

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