Nils Schillmark (1745-1804)Aliases: Nils Schillmarch; Nils Schillmarck; Nils SkiellmarkProfessions: Portrait painter; Landscape painter; Painter.
(b Skellefteå, northern Sweden, 1745; d 1804). Finnish painter of Swedish birth. The son of a crofter, he was apprenticed in Stockholm to Pehr Fjellström, an artist and military officer. It is possible that Schillmark also studied at the Swedish Royal Academy of Art. He accompanied Fjellström on journeys to Finland and eventually moved there in 1773, first staying in Viaborg, the fortress situated off the shore near Helsinki, and later moving to the mainland and settling in Helsinki. In 1777 he began to receive commissions for portraits, and from then on he spent most of his life as a travelling portrait painter. His sitters came from both the bourgeoisie and the landed gentry, but they were widely spread across southern and western Finland. Occasionally Schillmark also received other kinds of commissions, for example for an altarpiece for the old stone church in Hattula (in situ). From 1787 Schillmark lived permanently in the town of Loviisa, but he continued to tour the estates of the neighbouring countryside. His only landscape paintings to have been preserved are from this year and show the town of Heinola and its new residence for the governor of the Uusimaa and Häme districts. A few years later Schillmark produced a number of still-life paintings for this building. It is possible that he spent some time in Stockholm during this period.