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The Pretext Of Pictures: Artists As Cultural And Political Agents

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Chapter Summary

In the Swedish National Archives in Stockholm, scattered throughout the private archives of merchants, generals and politicians, are hundreds of letters written in a small, neat hand, signed 'Your Humble Servant, Michel le Blon'. This chapter focuses on the artist and agent Michel le Blon, his background, his methods and his patrons. As a dealer in news and art in the service of Swedish clients, le Blon occupied a position between the Dutch and Swedish markets. The chapter then examines le Blon's influence on collections in Sweden, the networks he used and the way he arranged for them to benefit from one another. It finally explores these questions with the aid of correspondence between Michel le Blon and his most important Swedish patrons—Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, Queen Christina and General Carl Gustaf Wrangel.

Keywords:Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna; General Carl Gustaf Wrangel; Michel Le Blon; Queen Christina; Sweden



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