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Finnish National Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Helene Schjerfbeck
Helene Schjerfbeck, Chickens amongst Cornstooks (c. 1887). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Karjalainen.

HELSINKI.- Following the presentation at the Royal Academy in London, the Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition travels to Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki (Finnish National Gallery). The exhibition is twice the size of the London iteration, including five works never previously displayed in Finland and a newly discovered work never seen in public before; Girl from Barösund.

Through My Travels I Found Myself – Helene Schjerfbeck describes Helene’s journey of self-discovery and how she grew from talented student to one of Europe’s most influential artists. The exhibition focuses specifically on Schjerfbeck’s years of travel, during which she stayed in Paris, Pont-Aven in northern France, Fiesole in Italy, and St Ives in England at the end of the 19th century. During this time Schjerfbeck collected new working methods, techniques and subject matter which are prevalent throughout her work, traits that continued to appear within her images even after returning to Finland.

The exhibition Through My Travels I Found Myself – Helene Schjerfbeck, has been based on this year’s retrospective of Schjerfbeck at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (from 20 July to 27 October 2019). However, Ateneum’s show features some 130 works, over double of those displayed in London.

The exhibition also includes five previously never displayed works in Finland. These include Chickens amongst Cornstooks (circa 1887), which was painted in St Ives and discovered in the United Kingdom; A Girl with a Madonna (1881) from the Helsingborg Museums; and Red-Haired Girl in Blue (circa 1894) from a private collection. The exhibition also presents a previously unknown work, Girl from Barösund, (1885–1890), whose private owner contacted the Ateneum while the exhibition was being prepared. The painting Narcissus (1908–1909), which is part of the Ateneum collection and was recently discovered underneath the work Costume Picture I (1908–1909) during conservation, is also on display.

Through My Travels I Found Myself – Helene Schjerfbeck, has been curated by Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, chief curator at the Ateneum.

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