Niclas Lavfrensen (1737-1807)
Reuterskiöld took part in the Pomeranian War of 1805-06, commanding the Swedish Guards...becoming a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1815 and a Knight of the Order of the Sword in 1799...
Niclas Lavfrensen was a major painter of portrait miniatures and erotic scenes. Born in Stockholm, he also worked in France for lengthy periods of time when he called himself Nicolas Lavreince or Lawrence. His father was the miniaturist Niclas Lavfrensen (1698-1756), who taught his son as well as sending him to the Swedish Academy.
This portrait of Leonhard (or Lennart) Alexander Reuterskiöld (1767-1832) was painted after Lavfrensen’s return to Stockholm in 1791, after many years in Paris. The son of Axel Didrik Reuterskiöld and his wife Eva Anna Wefverstedt; Leonhard Alexander Reuterskiöld began his military career as a cornet in the mounted Life Guards in 1779 and was promoted lieutenant in 1783. In 1786 he was appointed captain in the Adelsfane Regiment, after which he served in the French army from 1787 to 1789.
Returning to Sweden, he was involved in the fighting at Svenskund in 1789, being appointed a captain in the Nylands infantry regiment in 1792, transferring to the Gota Life Guard in 1794 and being promoted major in 1800. The present work probably shows him in the rank of captain in this uniform.
Later, Reuterskiöld took part in the Pomeranian War of 1805-06, commanding the Swedish Guards, becoming a lieutenant-colonel in 1805 and transferring in that rank to the Dal Regiment in 1809; he commanded a brigade in the Army of the North’s southern section until it was disbanded. In 1810 he was appointed Colonel of the Dal Regiment and in 1811 given command of the Sodermanlands Regiment in the regimental rank of lieutenant-colonel. Also in 1811 he was appointed brigadier commanding the Gotland National Guard (and governor of Gotland) successfully reorganising the force as part of the forces defending Gotland; he left Gotland in 1812. In 1813 he became colonel of the Sodermanlands Regiment, which he commanded during the war in Germany and Norway. During the German campaign he also commanded a Swedish brigade in the Army of the North and served for a short period on the Crown Prince’s staff while, at the same time, being commandant in Liège. He became a major general in 1814 and retired in 1821. Reuterskiöld became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1815 and a Knight of the Order of the Sword in 1799. He died unmarried and was interred in the western cemetery in Nyköping.