HALL, Peter Adolf
(b. 1739, Boras, Älvsborg, d. 1793, Liege)
Swedish painter and collector. In 1753 he attended Uppsala Universitet to study medicine and natural history. In 1755 he went on a study trip abroad, led by his drawing-master Lars Brisman. While in Germany (1756-59) he studied miniature painting with Eichhardt in Berlin and with Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Richard (1725-70) in Hamburg. After this trip, he decided to become a professional portrait painter, and in 1759 he enrolled at the Kungliga Akademi för de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm, studying drawing with the French sculptor Pierre-Hubert Larchéveque (1721-78) and painting with Gustaf Lundberg. He attracted the attention of Carl Fredrik Adelcrantz, who in 1766 gained for him a commission for the pastel portrait of Princes Karl and Fredrik Adolf. In that year he also executed a miniature portrait of Crown Prince Gustav on the occasion of his engagement to Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark.
Also in 1766 he received a royal travel grant to study in Paris, where he developed a completely new technique of miniature painting using sweeping brushwork and a clear and fresh range of colour that allowed for lively characterization. He made exquisite detailed studies of the backgrounds of his paintings, as well as his sitters' costumes and their attributes and accessories. His new technique involved applying gouache to the ivory in a manner that allowed the ivory to show through, a method that was particularly successful in depicting drapery. The smooth surface of the ivory also allowed freer brushwork associated with full-scale portraits.