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Self-Portrait, Black Background, 1915 by Helene Schjerfbeck, HELENE SCHJERFBECK in orange font to bottom right.

Helene Schjerfbeck

By (author) Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff
By (author) Rebecca Bray
By (author) Desiree de Chair
By (author) Jeremy Lewison


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  • A new study examining the life and work of Helene Schjerfbeck, the Finnish painter who created some of the most significant self-portraits of the twentieth century
  • Published to accompany a major retrospective at the Royal Academy, running from 20 July to 27 October 2019, the first time her works have been seen in London since 1890
Full Description

Though little known outside her native country, Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) is one of Finland’s best-loved artists. Her career, which stretched from the late 1870s to the end of the Second World War, encompassed both Impressionism and Modernism. This book records an exhibition that marks the first time her works have been seen in the UK since she exhibited in London herself in 1890. It presents the full range of her exceptional paintings and drawings, with 70 works in all genres, including portrait, landscape and still-life. Schjerfbeck’s technique, her social and cultural context and her legacy are all examined in depth by the authors. The book also explores the role of the masquerade in Schjerfbeck’s work, and the impact of old-master paintings on her practice.

About the Author

Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff is chief curator at the Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki. Rebecca Bray is Assistant Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Desiree de Chair is an art historian and curator. Jeremy Lewison is an art historian and curator. He was formerly Director of Collections at Tate.

Look Inside
Royal Academy of Arts
4th Nov 2019
World excluding USA & Canada
270 mm x 230 mm
168 Pages
120 color
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