Thursday, March 31, 2022

Helene Schjerfbeck's Early Paintings

Clothes Drying, 1883

Helene Schjerfbeck's early paintings were influenced by French realism and impressionism. 

Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish, 1852-1946) The Convalescent 1888

She studied with Léon Bonnat at the Académie Colarossi and painted in Brittany and then went to St. Ives in Cornwall. The newly formed colony in Cornwall welcomed visiting artists from Sweden, Russia, and France, and they found locals in town who were willing to pose, including the child who posed for "The Convalescent." 
"As Helene Schjerfbeck could not speak English very well, she often worked alongside Marianne Stokes, and a child that they painted together a number of times was so naughty at school that the teacher was only too glad when she sat for the artists!" (Source
Helene Schjerfbeck: German Edition


Juho Vepsäläinen said...

Schjerfbeck is definitely one of the better Finnish painters from that era. The late paintings are more abstract and dark even.

Hugo Simberg is another interesting one from that era although quite different in style (more on the symbolic side).

Juho Vepsäläinen said...

I forgot to mention that there's a recent (2020) movie about Helene Schjerfbeck: .

It's available through Yle Areena (most likely Finnish IPs only) temporarily and I imagine there are some streaming platforms out there that have the film as well.