Urban Larsson - Selfportrait

Painter of portraits, still lifes & landscapes

Urban Larsson is a traditional oil painter. As well as portraits, he paints still lives, landscapes and nudes. Striving for beauty and universal human values, he paints only from life and in a tradition that has evolved over more than five centuries - sight-size.

Exhibition in Amsterdam

Urban Larsson is having an exhibition in his studio on Prinseneiland, Amsterdam, showing recent landscapes, still lifes and paintings of models. The exhibition will be open on Thursday 14 November (5-8 pm), Saturday 16, Sunday 17, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November (2-6 pm), 2019. Due to restricted space, please e-mail to announce your interest in coming. See the invitation for more information.



Below an edited version with English subtitles of the two-part documentary broadcast on the Dutch national television network AVROTROS Kunstuur in May 2017. We follow Urban Larsson at different points throughout 2016 and 2017 in Amsterdam, Florence, Stockholm and The Hague. In Florence, for example, we are given an insight into Charles H. Cecil Studios where Larsson regularly teaches life-size portraiture to the advanced students.

Unveiling portrait Ben Bot

On June 26th, 2019 a portrait of Dr Ben Bot, former Ambassador, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, etc. was unveiled at the Peace Palace, The Hague. The art work was commissioned to commemorate Dr Bot’s twelve years as chairman of the Carnegie Foundation. The life-size portrait has been painted from life in Urban Larsson’s studio on Prinseneiland, Amsterdam.

Exhibition in Stockholm

Skajs Antikhandel in Sweden is proud to host an exhibition (October 4 - 7, 2018) with oil paintings by Urban Larsson. In connection with a portrait commission the artist is in Stockholm and will show recent paintings available for purchase. See the invitation for more information.

still life

Portrait of President Swedish Supreme Court

April 12, 2018 a life-size portrait of the first female President of the Swedish Supreme Court, Marianne Lundius, was unveiled in Stockholm. Painted from life in Amsterdam.


Portrait of Jan Six (XI)

In March 2018 the life-size portrait of Jan Six (XI) was unveiled (oil on canvas, 110x90 cm, 2017). It was painted from life in the studio on Prinseneiland, Amsterdam.


A photograph of the 3rd session was published in the book Urban Larsson Painting from Life (2017). Part of the process was recorded in the documentary Urban Larsson (Kunstuur, Avro). In the picture the renowned art dealer and art historian Six is holding the book Examining Velazquez (Yale, 1988).

Documentary on Dutch Television

On May 7 and May 14 2017 a two part one hour documentary is shown on Dutch Television (Kunstuur/Ned2) filmed in the Netherlands, Florence and Stockholm. Here is a link to the first part (only to be seen in the Netherlands):


Director: Deborah Faraone Mennella / Camera & Colourgrading: Jelte Maarten Boll
Editor: Caitlin Hulscher / Music: Jan Akkerman
Executive producer: Rene Mendel & Mira Mendel - Interakt Production

Retrospective exhibition - The Hague

On April 25th, 2017, the retrospective exhibition of Urban Larsson at The Mesdag Collection (Van Gogh Museum), The Hague was opened by the Director of the Van Gogh Museum, Axel Rüger. The award winning actor Hein van der Heijden, whose portrait is part of the exhibition, also spoke.

© Photographs by Kenny Nagelkerke and others

The exhibition is open until June 18. The core of the exhibition was previously exhibited at Sven-Harry’s Art Museum, Stockholm.

An 11 minute film shown at the two retrospective exhibitions:

Retrospective exhibition - Stockholm

On February 17th 2017 Urban Larsson's retrospective exhibition at Sven-Harry's art museum, Stockholm was opened by H.E. the Ambassador of the Netherlands Ines Coppoolse.

The exhibition continues until April 16th 2017. It shows over 90 works made between 1992-2016 lent from private and public collections in Europe and the USA. The core of the exhibition will travel to the Mesdag Collection (van Goghmuseum) in The Hague April 26 - June 18, 2017. For a short impression of this retrospective exhibition please view the video:

Life size royal portraits

On February 7th 2017 the full-length portraits of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands painted by Urban Larsson were unveiled.

The portraits were commissioned by Sociëteit de Witte in The Hague as complements for their historical royal portrait gallery. Exceptional are the measurements of the oil paintings – full-length and to the scale of life (220 x 135 cm). The frames were made by Guy Sainthill. For larger images of the paintings see Urban's portfolio.

New book about Urban Larsson

book-cover-2017In 2017 two retrospective exhibitions of Urban Larsson’s paintings will take place in Sweden and subsequently in the Netherlands: from February 18 to April 16 at the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum in Stockholm, and from April 25 to June 18 at De Mesdag Collectie in The Hague. An eponymous publication, published by Lecturis, will be presented with these exhibitions, titled Urban Larsson - Painting from Life.

The preface of the catalogue is written by Axel Rüger, (director of the Van Gogh Museum and De Mesdag Collectie), and Elsebeth Welander-Berggren (director of the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum). The essay on Larsson's portraits is written by Sabine Craft-Giepmans (Head of the ‘Fine Arts until 1750’ department at the RKD-Dutch Institute for Art History in The Hague). Edwin Becker (chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam) has conducted an interview with the artist. The catalogue comprises images of the paintings that can be seen at both exhibitions as well as a selection of paintings that have been made recently. In addition to the still-lives and landscapes there are, for instance, two full-length portraits, of H.M. King Willem-Alexander and H.M. Queen Maxima, commissioned by Sociëteit de Witte in The Hague and the portrait of H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden, commissioned by the National Museum in Stockholm. The catalogue has been compiled by Wendela Burgemeister (art historian).

The catalogue will be offered for sale at the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum and at De Mesdag Collectie. It will further be for sale online, in bookstores and at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Title: Urban Larsson - Painting from Life
Dimensions book: 240 x 290 mm
Circa 112 pages, excluding cover
Text in English
Retail price: € 22,50

Family Picture

In the early summer of 2014 Urban Larsson was finishing the last painting of a great commission for a family in Louisville, Kentucky. It comprised of 17 individual life-size portraits and one final “family picture”. The two generations of adults were done in oil paint and the 9 grandchildren in charcoal. Some of the portraits were done in the U.S.A. and some in his studio in Amsterdam.

Interior of studio - B. Family Picture / 120 x 160 cm oil on canvas 2014 / Private collection United States

All the single portraits were eventually reunited, framed and placed in his studio. Subsequently Urban painted the final “family picture” as an interior of his studio wherein all the individual portraits can be seen. The canvas measures 120x160 cm.

Unveiling portrait actor Hans Croiset in Amsterdam

On March 9th, 2014, the portrait of the renowned Dutch actor, director and writer Hans Croiset (1935), was unveiled at a ceremony at the Stadsschouwburg (main theatre) in Amsterdam. Among the speakers was art historian and former museum director Rudi Fuchs (see photograph below).

Hans Croiset - Rudi Fuchs - Unveiling portrait - Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

The portrait will be part of the great collection of portraits housed in the theatre. The life-size portrait was painted during sittings in the artist's studio on Prinseneiland, Amsterdam in the autumn of 2013.

Portrait Hans Croiset

Portrait of Queen Silvia
to Swedish National Portrait Gallery

A new portrait of HM Queen Silvia has been donated to the Swedish National Portrait Gallery, which is managed by Nationalmuseum. The portrait, a gift in honour of the Queen’s 70th birthday, was painted earlier this year by Swedish artist Urban Larsson. It has been unveiled at Gripsholm Castle on 11 June 2013.

Queen Silvia of Sweeden posing

© Photo Anne Nyblaeus

The work has been added to the Swedish National Portrait Gallery, the world’s oldest national portrait gallery, which is managed by Nationalmuseum.

Inauguration portrait Queen Silvia of Sweden

© Photo Mari Bozon

The portrait collection comprises around 4,600 works, with new additions every year. The portrait of Queen Silvia is a gift from a number of corporate and private donors in honour of the Queen’s upcoming 70th birthday.

Queen Silvia of Sweden - portrait by Urban Larsson

© Urban Larsson

The oil painting is the work of Urban Larsson. Born in Stockholm in 1966, Larsson studied in Florence and has lived and worked in Amsterdam for the past 24 years. He is much in demand as a portraitist, and his past commissions include the official portraits of Wim Kok, the former prime minister of the Netherlands, and Gerdi Verbeet, the former speaker of the Dutch parliament. The portrait of Queen Silvia was painted in multiple sittings at Drottningholm Palace during February and March of 2013.

A reportage of the inauguration by Swedish television:

For more media coverage of this and other events see the press page.

Urban Larsson has exhibited throughout Europe and in the United States to much acclaim.

Please see the online portfolio for examples of his work.

visit the online gallery »


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