Stockholms universitet

Sabrina Norlander EliassonProfessor

Om mig

Sabrina Norlander Eliasson is Full Professor of Art History at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics.  She received a Ph.D in Art History from Uppsala University in 2003 and specialises in early modern painting, history of collecting and the socio-economic history of art with a particular focus on eighteenth-century Rome.

Before joining the Department, Sabrina was Deputy Director at the Swedish Institute for Classical Studies in Rome (2007-2013) where she headed teaching, research, conferences and other activities relating to Art History. In the years 2011-2015, she acted as coordinator for a major research project on the Italian paintings collection in Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. She has co-curated exhibitions such as Dreaming of Italy. Nordic Artists in the South 170-1870 (2004) and she often contributes to exhibition catalogues.



Sabrina is the Founding Director of the International Master Program Technical Art History and the Art Museum where she teaches courses related to history of collecting, curatorial practice and exhibition production. On undergraduate level she teaches early modern painting with a particular focus on Italy, France and Britain. Furthermore, she is responsible for the second-term courses “Naturalism and Classicism in Baroque Rome” and “Portraiture”. She supervises theses on bachelor- and masters levels and PhD projects related to portraiture, technical art history and eighteenth-century art.


Current research involves the book-length study A decent and confortable abode. The Borghese apartment in SS. Domenico e Sisto and the materiality of religious life in Baroque Rome, forthcoming with Brepols Publishing. It is an interdisciplinary study concerning gender, religion, cultural consumption and literary and visual effects in Rome’s monastic context in the eighteenth century. In 2014, she organised, together with the Università di Firenze and the Università di Roma Tre, the international conference Fra doppi muri from which proceedings are currently being published with the Editor Quattroemme. Further research interests involve migrating iconographies and artistic techniques in Europe during the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries and artistic discourses in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction. Until recently, she was part of the research project Topos and Topography. The Birth of the Guidebook to Rome, headed by Anna Blennow and Stefano Fogelberg Rota, for which she conducted research on the nineteenth-century Baedeker guidebook and its connection to the academic canon of Art History.

She is the author of Portraiture and Social Identity in Eighteenth-Century Rome published in 2009 with Manchester University Press. Together with Stefano Fogelberg Rota, she co-edited City of the Soul. The literary making of Rome published with the series Suecoromana of the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome. In 2015, she edited Italian Paintings in the Nationalmuseum. Three centuries of collecting published with Hatje Kants and Nationalmuseum. She has contributed to Art History and Studi di Storia dell’Arte and has published extensively on topics relating to eighteenth-century monastic culture, history of collecting and historiography. Her most recent article “The Baedeker effect and the Arts: Shortcuts to artistic appreciation in Nineteenth-Century Rome” is published in the edited volume Rome and the Guidebook Tradition (eds. A. Blennow and S. Fogelberg Rota) De Gruyter 2019. 

Sabrina is a partner of the International Network Mobility Creates Masters (MoCMa) which is coordinated by CATS (Center for Art Technological Studies) in Copenhagen. She collaborates with a number of institutions in Sweden and abroad such as Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini in Rome. She is on the Research Board of the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and on the Board of the Swedish Institute for Classical Studies in Rome.

During fall term 2021, Sabrina will be on sabbatical leave as visiting scholar at the Università di Roma La Sapienza.

For information on the International Master Program in Technical Art History and the Art Museum

For information on MoCMa



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • ‘A landmark of the transience of all earthly greatness, glory and power!’: Versailles and the Myth of the Ancien Régime in the Writings and Collections of the Swedish Marquis Claes Lagergren (1853−1930)

    2023. Sabrina Norlander Eliasson. Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles (23)


    Born a Swedish farmer’s son, Claes Lagergren trained as a tradesman in Paris in the early 1870s. An unexpected inheritance made him financially independent and enabled him to begin his travels in Europe. Whilst in Rome, he converted to the Roman Catholic faith, an important step in a social career that rapidly introduced him to the upper echelons of Roman nobility – and particularly to those families that had stayed true to the Pope in the aftermath of the unification of Italy. Lagergren was introduced to the Papal court and to Pope Leo XII, who favoured him. Eventually, he was honoured with the title of marquis and became one of the Pope’s chamberlains. The Marquis was a diarist and published his memoirs in nine volumes in the 1920s. His writings are a barely explored source of his political and cultural views – and of his love for Versailles. During his many visits to the palace, informed by his reading of guidebooks and memoirs, he wrote about his sensations and experiences of the former royal site. Politically, Lagergren considered himself a legitimist who honoured the values of the Ancien Régime, and he treasured the Restoration. From this perspective, Versailles and its palace constituted a strong symbol and lieu de mémoire of pre-revolutionary Europe. In the early 1880s, Lagergren married the wealthy American Caroline Russell. The couple bought seventeenth-century Tyresö Castle, outside Stockholm − a home that Lagergren would bequeath to a Stockholm museum, the Nordiska museet, after his death in 1930. Tyresö became a place where Lagergren displayed his collections, in particular portraits of members of the French Bourbon dynasty that he had seen at Versailles. Haut de page 

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