The fortress-like castle Gripsholm is situated by Lake Mälaren in Sweden Mariefred and was built in 1537 by Gustav Vasa. The castle now houses the National Portrait Collection. In 1927 the German journalist and writer Kurt Tucholsky catches sight of the painting by F. Richardt in the store of the antiquarian bookseller Axel Juncker and is inspired by the painting to his book 'Gripsholm Castle, a summer story' The book was published in 1931 in the Rowohlt Verlag in Berlin.
The painting has craquelure throughout the surface. Very small loss of color in the outer margins. The inspection under UV light reveals areas of retouching to the margins and in the area of the vegetation in the foreground. Few with naked eyes visible retouching in the sky. The broad gilded frame bears a brass plate with data to the artist and the work. The frame has some signs of age.
Joachim Ferdinand Richardt (1819-1895)
J. F. Richardt was born in Brede, in the north of Copenhagen. Since 1836 he attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, being a student of the architect and designer Friedrich von Hetsch, the historical painter Johan Ludwig Lund and the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Richardt received a five-year state scholarship in 1847 and was committed to provide the Royal Collection with paintings. Between 1855 and 1859 he visited the Unite States of America for several times. He maintained a studio in New York City, during the summer he traveled to the Niagara Falls and the Mississippi. In 1872/73 he eventually emigrated to America. Since 1876 he lived and worked in California. As a painter of landscapes, castles and various tourist attractions, he was already recognized and appreciated in his lifetime. (hth)