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Gustav III

Gustav III (24 January [O.S. 13 January] 1746 – 29 March 1792) was King of Sweden from 1771 until his assassination in 1792. Born in Stockholm as the eldest son of King Adolf Frederick, he married Sophia Magdalena of Denmark in 1766. At the time of his accession, the Swedish Riksdag held more power than the monarchy but was bitterly divided between rival parties. After unsuccessful attempts to mediate, Gustav seized power himself in 1772, changing the constitution in what is considered a coup d'état. Following an attempt to form a league of princes to counter the French Revolution, a conspiracy formed among Swedish nobles and he was shot while attending the opera. He died two weeks later and was succeeded by his son Gustav Adolf.

This picture, titled King Gustav III of Sweden and his Brothers, is a 1771 oil-on-canvas painting by Alexander Roslin. It shows Gustav (seated, left) with his two brothers, Frederick Adolf (standing) and Charles (seated, right). It is now in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm.

Painting: Alexander Roslin

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