Royal Authority and the Taming of the Aristocracy: The Historical and Political Context of Two Paintings in the Gallery of Charles XI
2016 (English)In: The Gallery of Charles XI at the Royal Palace of Stockholm: - in Perspective / [ed] Linda Hinners, Martin Olin &Margaretha Rossholm Lagerlöf, Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2016, 73-86 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
In 1680 Charles XI enforced autocratic rule after a long period of influential Chancellors like Axel Oxenstierna and shorter periods of regencies headed by members of the Council from the high aristocracy. Most remarkable, royal autocracy was enforced without meeting the least political resistance in spite of the strong tradition of aristocratic constitutionalism represented by the Council of the Realm. The ultimate triumph of royal power is portrayed most explicitly in two of the ceiling frescos in Charles XI’s gallery in the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The first motif refers to the legislation against dueling and the second to the Reduction (the reclamation of crown estates granted to the nobility), both central aspects of Charles’ political program, and both directed against aristocratic claims of superior exclusiveness and members of the high aristocracy in particular. Anti-dueling legislation was modeled on French absolutism, while the reduction was specifically Swedish. The aim of this article is to analyze the visual rhetoric of these two paintings in the light of a longer historical and political context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 2016. 73-86 p.
Kungl Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien Handlingar Historiska serien, ISSN 0083-6788 ; 32
honour, glory, virtue, duelling, autocracy
Research subject History; History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-132230ISBN: 978-91-7402-442-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-132230DiVA: diva2:1079019