As a child, Sophie Adlersparre studied with C. F. Pedersen and in the 1830s she studied in Stockholm with artists such as Johan Gustaf Sandberg. In 1836 she had her debut when Crown Princess Josefina ordered a portrait and introduced the artist to new contacts. Adlersparre also studied art abroad in Italy, France and Germany. Regardless of where she studied, she succeeded in obtaining subsidies, which was unusual for female artists during this period. During her stay in Rome, she belonged to the Swedish artist colony there and later converted to Catholicism, which provided her with the opportunity to paint reigning Pope Pius IX.
Today, Adlersparre is associated with romantic genre painting and her name was well-known both in Sweden and abroad in the nineteenth century.