A studio in the woods

I love the classic Finnish painters – Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Hugo Simberg, Helene Schjerfbeck, Eero Järnefelt, Pekka Halonen and of course Albert Edefelt. You may be familiar with his work – perhaps you know of The Luxembourg Gardens, A Child’s Funeral or my personal favourite – Virginie? Last summer, when hubby and I went on a visit to Porvoo, I wanted to visit Edefelt’s studio on the drive home.

The studio is just a short drive or walk away from Haikko manor. It’s actually a very tiny cottage in the midst of the forest.

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Edefelt’s mother first rented the cottage in 1879.

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This is where Edefelt started painting outside scenes of which the first was the famous A Child’s Funeral.

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A Child’s Funeral as seen in Ateneum Art Museum

In 1883 Edefelt built a studio to accompany the cottage.

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He loved Porvoo and the archipelago there and gladly returned each summer.

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All in all, he painted at the studio for 26 summers.

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Edefelt’s Boys on the Shore on the upper left as seen in Ateneum Art Museum

And in those summers, he painted a whopping 220 paintings.

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Many of these were recognized at the Salon exhibitions in Paris.

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Queen Bianca as seen at the Ateneum Art Museum

If you are visiting Helsinki, I strongly advise you to visit Ateneum Art Museum’s Stories of Finnish Art exhibit – there you will see many of Edefelt’s pieces, for example The Luxembourg Gardens as seen below in the middle.

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The Luxembourg Gardens as seen in the Ateneum Art Museum

It’s interesting to think that someone who had an affiliation with Paris and the Parisian lifestyle, was still strongly enticed by Finnish summers.

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Edefelt died in 1905 in his beloved cottage.

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When visiting, do take a moment to walk along the paths outside and admire the shoreline.

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The studio is open from mid-May to mid-September, so you will have to wait till next year to visit. It having been Edefelt’s summer home, I would find the fact that it’s only open then rather fitting. But no fear – Helsinki’s Ateneum is open all year round.

Are you familiar with Edefelt’s work?

xx

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