I was helped with one of my holy grails today, and I’m pretty excited about it! I first posted about this work over **four years** ago (lamenting that the only photo of this work I could find was a measly 200X300 pixels and blurry at that), and today on Twitter someone came through for me with a photo of this work-at 2,834 × 3,874 pixels!! It’s been uploaded to Wikimedia commons here.
The man in the portrait is Adolf Ludvig Gustav Albert Badin Couschi (born c. 1747, died 1822). He was butler and foster child to Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden, raised alongside the royal children and allowed to do more or less as he pleased. Although he married twice, he never had any legitimate children-there are speculations on possible noble children he may have had but so many of the sources are in Swedish, II can’t really make an informed review of them. He was a poet and an actor, and even after his death inspired others to make him immortal in works of fiction.
One of the coolest things about this work-it’s not paint. This portrait was done in pastels, by Gustaf Lundberg in 1775. Here’s a direct link to the full-size, framed artwork.