King Gustav III 1771-1792
In 1772, King Gustav III took the power through a bloodless coup d'état. The Act of Union and Security made him an absolute ruler.
King Gustav III inspired both loathing and admiration. The farmers hated him for banning them from distilling alcohol. Many military officers were furious about his war of aggression against Russia in 1788, and the nobility were angry that he had withdrawn their privileges. As King of Sweden, he is known for having prohibited torture and for his contributions to culture.
King Gustav III was shot by Jacob Johan Anckarström on 16 March 1792, at a masked ball at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. It later transpired that Anckarström was part of a group of conspirators who had decided to assassinate 'the tyrant'. King Gustav III was 46 years old when he died.
Portrait in pastels, probably by Gustaf Lundberg.