Albert Edelfelt at the Petit Palais
Albert Edelfelt — Boys Playing on the Shore — 1884Albert Edelfelt — Kaukola Ridge at Sunset — 1889
From 10 March to 10 July 2022, the Petit Palais in Paris is hosting an exhibition of the work of the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905).
Image: Albert Edelfelt, Boys Playing on the Shore, 1884. National Gallery of Finland / Ateneum Art Museum ·· Albert Edelfelt, Sunset on the Kaukola Ridge, 1889–1890. National Gallery of Finland / Athenaum Art Museum.
With “Albert Edelfelt: Lights of Finland”, the Petit Palais continues to focus on Nordic painting, following the retrospectives devoted to the Swedish painters Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, and the exhibition devoted to the Golden Age of Danish painting (held from 22 September 2020 to 03 January 2021). The exhibition includes around one hundred works from all phases of the career of Albert Edelfelt, one of the great names in Finnish painting.
Born in Porvoo in 1854, Edelfeld received a thorough and diverse training, coming into contact with genre painting through his first master Adolf von Becker (1871–73), leaning the academicism of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) when he studied at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and meeting one of the great masters of the late 19th century, the American by birth but European by adoption, John Singer Sargent (1856–1925). Like Sargent, Edelfelt borrowed elements from Realism and Impressionism, and soon became one of Finland’s most popular artists. His painting Boys Playing on the Shore (1884), featured in the Petit Palais exhibition, was voted in 2013 as Finland’s most popular painting.
Just as the landscapes of the Hudson River School artists (like Thomas Cole or Asher Brown Durand) and American Western painters such as Albert Bierstadt helped create the “American spirit” in the then young United States, Edelfelt’s paintings, with their love of the landscapes and inhabitants of his native Finland, were taken as a model by the later generation of Finnish painters, even after the country gained full independence, years after Edelfelt’s death. #2022 #theartwolf