Carl Gustaf Pilo was one of the 18th century Swedish artists who left Sweden to make their fortune abroad.
He moved to Denmark in 1741, becoming painter to the Danish Court. He also became a professor at the Danish Academy of Fine Arts. His prolific output in Denmark consisted mainly of portraits.
Gustav III's coup d'état in 1772 turned the Danes against Sweden, and Pilo had to leave Denmark. He settled in his childhood town of Nyköping. Gustav III looked him up, requesting him to paint the coronation. Pilo tried to get out of it, because he had not been there at the time and he had never painted a group picture in his life. But the King would not take No for an answer. He wanted something to match Ehrenstrahl's picture, at Drottningholm, of Charles XI's coronation, and he wanted Pilo to do it.
The Coronation of Gustav III by Carl Gustav Pilo