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In the Mood of Albert Edelfelt

This week, I present you a Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt and talk about my upcoming exhibition.

This month, Albert Edelfeltin säätiö – Albert Edelfelt’s foundation contacted me. They invited me to participate in a group exhibition in their villa starting in August. I went to sign the contract this week.

Päivi Eerola & Hanna Kaarina Syrjäläinen, Villa Albert, Albert Edelfeltin säätiö
Me and Hanna Kaarina Syrjäläinen from Albert Edelfelt’s foundation

This is very happy news! If you have read my blog for some time, you know I love art history. Even if I follow contemporary art actively, old paintings inspire me more. Many of the techniques that I use for my paintings are old, even if the expression is abstract or half-abstract. So, one of my secret dreams has been to display my paintings with historical ones.

Albert Edelfelt

Albert Edelfelt (1854 – 1905) was one of the most famous Finnish painters. He painted portraits and landscapes and, in my opinion, was exceptionally skillful in sceneries that had a group of people. He also made illustrations, studied and worked in Paris, and lived in Haikko, Finland, where his foundation is also located.

Albert Edelfelt sketching
Albert Edelfelt, photographed by Pietinen, 1905

Here’s a better picture of the painting “Onkiva ukko” – a guy fishing – that you can see in the background of the first photo, taken in Villa Albert of Albert Edelfelt’s foundation.

Albert Edelfelt, Onkiva Ukko, Villa Albert, Albert Edelfeltin säätiö
Albert Edelfelt, Onkiva ukko, oil on canvas, 1896

One of Albert Edelfelts most famous paintings, especially in France, is the portrait of Louis Pasteur. And many of his female portraits are so romantic, look at this one, for example!

Albert Edelfelt, Parisienne Reading, oil on canvas, 1880
Albert Edelfelt, Parisienne Reading, oil on canvas, 1880

And look how careless the strokes are here, still expressing the essential so skillfully!

Albert Edelfelt, Portrait of Young Woman, oil on canvas, 1882
Albert Edelfelt, Portrait of Young Woman, oil on canvas, 1882

But Albert Edelfelt didn’t only paint young beauties. See this one:

Albert Edelfelt, Women Outside the Church at Ruokolahti, oil on canvas,1887
Albert Edelfelt, Women Outside the Church at Ruokolahti, oil on canvas,1887

Browse more here: a big collection of Albert Edelfelt’s paintings

Last year, there was Albert Edelfelt’s big exhibition in France, and it’s now in Göteborg, Sweden, then later in May in Finland.

Villa Albert and The Haikko Area

Edelfelt’s studio is still up. It’s a small wooden cottage and a popular sight. Villa Albert is a new building in the same courtyard. It has a gallery space and a gift shop.

Villa Albert, Haikko, Porvoo
Villa Albert, gift shop, art gallery, Haikko, Porvoo, Finland
Inside Villa Albert, a view of the gift shop

The Haikko area is beautiful. The sea is right there, and a beautiful manor hotel, Haikon kartano, is only a walk away.

The surroundings of Villa Albert and Albert Edelfelt's art studio in January 2023
The surroundings of Villa Albert and Albert Edelfelt’s art studio in January 2023

This area is very different in summer, much more welcoming than in the picture that I took this week. Here’s Albert Edelfelt’s painting of his villa in Haikko, currently privately owned but still up and located near the studio.

Albert Edelfelt, The Artist's Summer Villa in Haikko, oil on canvas, 1905.
Albert Edelfelt, The Artist’s Summer Villa in Haikko, oil on canvas, 1905.

It takes only 15 minutes to drive to an atmospheric old town Porvoo, which is also a very popular tourist attraction.

Entering Porvoo old town
Entering Porvoo, the old town has a lot of wooden buildings

Artists in the Mood of Edelfelt

I will be painting a new series for the exhibition called “Taiteilijat Edelfeltin tunnelmissa” – Artists in the mood of Edelfelt. Even if Albert Edelfelt was a portrait painter, my intention is not to paint portraits but plants. I am excited to pick inspiration from his work, though!

The exhibition will have four other artists too: another painter Kristina Elo, photographers Maarit Lehto and Niclas Warius, and a sculptor, Kaj Lindgård. I am very happy to be displayed with these wonderful artists.

Aug 8 to Oct 10, Taiteilijat Edelfeltin tunnelmissa (Artists in the Mood of Edelfelt), Villa Albert, Haikkoo, Porvoo.

Coming Up in This Blog

This spring, you will see me painting for the exhibition, and I will also share some details of Albert Edelfelt’s life. Between those, I will be posting more playful posts – drawings and journal pages – so, as usual, art history, my oil paintings, and more illustrative work will alternate in this blog. I hope you find all this very inspiring.

17 thoughts on “In the Mood of Albert Edelfelt

  1. Oh, what fun! Congratulations on your new contract, and I can’t wait to see your new work. Thanks for introducing this artist, too. It’s almost photographic impressionism, somehow!

  2. I’m delighted for you to be showing in this important location! Well deserved! I enjoyed learning about Albert Edelfelt’s work too.

  3. Congratulations, Päivi, what a wonderful opportunity!
    Thank you so much for your introduction to this famous Finish painter!
    Art history is so much fun!

    Looking forward to seeing your Albert Edelfelt inspired work!

  4. How exciting and so well deserved! I’m looking forward to looking up this artist and to seeing your new paintings.

  5. I’ve seen a reproduction Edelfelt’s portrait of Louis Pasteur before — probably among my maternal grandfather’s papers. (My grandfather was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology.) What strikes me is the artist’s use of light and shadow, to create emphasis. My Canadian great-great uncle (on my father’s side of the family) was both a Texas Ranger and awarded the Légion d’honneur for his bravery in the French Foreign Legion. He wasn’t an artist, though — although my mother was a graphic artist. Me? As you know, Päivi, I wouldn’t call myself an artist, as I’m tending toward becoming an illustrator. It’s funny, isn’t it, the things that divide us and also unite us? Round about 2002 I read something to the effect that we’re all only six steps away from knowing each other. Imagine! I love the paintings you’ve shown in this post, especially ‘Portrait of Young Woman’: he’d a very delicate hand, hadn’t he, to paint such exquisite detail? Also, congratulations on signing the contract with Albert Edelfeltin säätiö — you are such an inspiration! It was wonderful, too, to see your photo of Porvoo — it makes Finland ‘come alive’ for me (I need to take geography lessons…) Well done on all counts, Päivi!

      1. Except in geography, Päivi! I really, really need to spend some time on Google Earth. I’d love to know more about Finland. (And I should stop typing my name with unnecessary capital letters, too!) — No need to reply. I’m sure you’ll agree with what I’ve written!

  6. Congratulations, Paivi!! This is such exciting news!! And to be to have a “secret dream” come true is amazing.

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