Lea Ahlborn

Swedish artist (1826–1897)

Lea Fredrika Ahlborn (née Lundgren) (18 February 1826 – 13 November 1897) was a famous Swedish artist. She was a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Arts, and the first woman to be appointed royal printmaker. The position of royal printmaker also made her the first female official in Sweden.

She was daughter to Ludvig Lundgren, who was a printmaker, and she early decided, that she wanted to become a printmaker too. In 1849, she, as well as Amalia Lindegren and Agnes Börjesson, became one of the four women who were given permission to study art at the Swedish Royal Academy of Arts.

In 1851, she made a study-trip to Paris with her teacher Carl Gustaf Qvarnström and her brother Pehr Henrik.

In 1855, she was appointed royal printmaker, and was also elected as a member in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. She kept herself updated in everything regarding her work, and was given assignments from the Swedish Academy, the science academy and the royal academy Pro Patria. She made the medal-portraits to the celebration of the anniversary of the king and queen, and she was hired by the US government to make the medal of George Washington at the centenary (hundred years anniversary) of the end of the American War for Independence in 1883. In 1892, she was given the medal Illis Quorum by the king.



Her sister, Carolina Weidenhayn, (1822-1902), became the first professional female xylographer, who after she studied in Paris 1858-1867, became an instructor at the great technical school Tekniska Skolan in 1859-1881.


  • Österberg, Carin et al., Svenska kvinnor: föregångare, nyskapare. Lund: Signum 1990. (ISBN 91-87896-03-6)