A Musical Soirée

Carl Gustav Klingstedt


Working from the late 17th century on, the Latvian-born artist, Carl Gustav Klingstedt, specialised in risqué paintings that were often hidden away inside snuff boxes. His miniature paintings almost invariably depict at least two figures and often include monks, nuns or, as here, a swaddled cat. This portrait shows three generations of a family having a musical sing-a-long before dinner. Even the swaddled cat is piping for his supper.

Painted on vellum mostly in monotone with eye-catching pops of colour, the portrait is remarkably well-detailed. It is in fine condition and resides with a gilt metal surround in a later papier-mâché frame with an acorn hanger.

Carl Gustav Klingstedt (1657-1734) was born in Riga and joined the Swedish army at the age of fifteen. By 1689 he had moved to France and had turned to a career in art favouring risqué paintings. Despite being popular during his lifetime and his obvious talent, he died in poverty.

Item Ref. 7186

Size: framed, 150 x 168mm (5⅞ x 6⅝)