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10 July

10 July

Central Coast Art Society

Helena Sofia (Helene) Schjerfbeck (July 10, 1862 January 23, 1946) was a Finnish painter. She is most widely known for her realist works and self-portraits, and less well known for her landscapes and still lifes. At the beginning of her career she often produced historical paintings, such as the Wounded Warrior in the Snow (1880), At the Door of Linkping Jail in 1600 (1882) and The Death of Wilhelm von Schwerin (1886).

Historical paintings were usually the realm of male painters. As a result, her works produced mostly in the 1880s did not receive a favourable reception until later in her life. Her work starts with a dazzlingly skilled, somewhat melancholic version of late-19th-century academic realismit ends with distilled, nearly abstract images in which pure paint and cryptic description are held in perfect balance.

(Roberta Smith, New York Times, November 27th 1992).

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