The art collection
The Skokloster Castle collections comprise a thousand pictures, from the 15th century to 1961. Of the 770 pictures left by castle founder Carl Gustaf Wrangel himself at his death in 1676, some 150 have been identified at the castle.
The 600 portraits make up the biggest category followed by landscapes, history paintings, religious paintings, still-lifes, genre paintings, allegories and mythological pictures.
How did Skokloster acquire its paintings? Apart from those which belonged to Wrangel, the remaining 850 were collected and preserved by subsequent owners (until 1967) through inheritance, gifts and purchase. The great majority come from the Brahe family who owned Skokloster for 253 years.
So many artists are represented at Skokloster that not all of them can be mentioned here, but some names are especially interesting and worth noting.
David Klöcker was born in Hamburg in 1628 and got to know Wrangel during the terminal phase of the Thirty Years War.
Wrangel engaged him as portrait painter, and Skokloster has about ten or so portraits signed by Klöcker and dated 1651. Klöcker later became court painter in Stockholm and was raised to the nobility under the name of Ehrenstrahl.
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, another important artist, was a Dutchman who had studied under Rembrandt in the 1630s. He painted the picture of Joseph and his brothers.
Skokloster Castle's most famous paintings is maybe Vertumnus by the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.