Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Albert Edelfelt

Queen Bianca
oil on canvas
75.5 x 96.5 cm
Ateneum (Finnish National Gallery), Helsinki, Finland

Queen Bianca is a portrait depicting mediaeval times.

Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt (1854-1905) was a Finnish painter, illustrator and etcher. He was Finland's leading artist in the late 19th century, introducing French influences into Finnish art but also helping to gain a broader international interest in his country's culture. Although his reputation in Finland remained firm, international recognition dwindled after his death until the renewal of interest in realism that took place in the late 20th century.

In 1870 he studied at the school of the Finnish Art Society in Helsinki, in 1871-73 he studied at the Academy of Art in Helsinki, in 1873 at the Academy in Antwerp, and in 1874-78 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Apart from annual visits to Finland, he lived in Paris.
He painted history pictures, Naturalist landscapes and scenes of Finnish farm life. He won great acclaim with the French public for his portraits. In the 1880s and 1890 he exhibited at the Paris Salon, at the Paris World Fair in 1889 he received the Grand Prix d'Honneur.