24 April 2015 – 7 June 2015    

Signed: Signe von der Esch

Signe von der Esch, great-granddaughter of Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, was primarily a portrait painter, who painted portraits of several famous faces in business and society. Her portraits were displayed on the first floor in the Hallwyl Museum.

Von der Esch’s portraits coincided with the Hallwyl family portraits that came to Stockholm in 1893. Walther von Hallwyl inherited them from his mother. In connection with the couple deciding to donate the house to the Swedish state, the couple chose that the family portrait should be returned to Switzerland. Then Julius Kronberg, one of the most famous artists of the late 1800s, was commissioned to copy the 51 portraits. The originals are in the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. The exhibition also featured portraits of the family painted by the artist Nils Asplund.

Family portraits

Signe von der Esch painted several portraits of her grandchildren, during the exhibition displayed alongside Wilhelmina von Hallwyl's great grandchildren.

“Those who have desired to be portrayed by me have made contact directly with me. Sometimes I have lived at the client’s home for a while. This creates a special situation and one really gets to know the person to be portrayed. Painting portraits can be complicated. During the work process itself, I do at least two or three portrait studies before the finished portrait. I often take photographs to help.

– Signe von der Esch

The royal children

Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Madeleine, 2001. Executed by commission of His Majesty the King as a gift to Her Majesty the Queen.

Photo: Jens Mohr, the Hallwyl Museum/SHM (CC BY).