Thursday, December 8, 2011

150th Birth Anniversary of Albert Edelfelt 28.4.2004

I have made a mention of Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt (21 July 1854 – 18 August 1905) a Swedish-speaking Finnish painter, quite a few times in my blogs. This stamp and cover was issued on 28.4.2004 to commemorate Edelfelt’s 150th Birth Anniversary.
Albert Edelfelt was born in Porvoo, Finland. His father Carl Albert was an architect. Edelfelt admired the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who was a friend of the family. The company of Runeberg had a lasting impact on Edelfelt, who from time to time turned to scenes from Finnish history in his paintings. Edelfelt went on to illustrate Runeberg's epic poem The Tales of Ensign Stål. He studied art in Antwerp (1873–1874), Paris (1874–1878) and Saint Petersburg (1881–1882). He married Baroness (friherinnan) Ellan de la Chapelle in 1888 and they had one child.
Edelfelt was one of the first Finnish artists to achieve international fame. He enjoyed considerable success in Paris and was one of the founders of the Realist art movement in Finland. He influenced several younger Finnish painters and helped fellow Finnish artists such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela (refer to my post dated 21.11.2011) to make their breakthrough in Paris.
Albert Edelfelt, the first Finnish artist to rise to international fame was born on 21.7.1854, precisely 150 years ago. In honour of the jubilee year, The Ateneum Art Museum is putting up the most extensive exhibition on Edelfelt’s art ever seen, bringing together all his most significant works. Edelfelt is known first and foremost as the pioneer and forerunner of Finnish art. He cleared the path for other young Finnish artists by establishing international connections and exporting Finnish art abroad. Just as his masters wished, Edelfelt captured dramatic scenes from Finnish history on his canvas and was also a highly talented portrayer of his own time. His portraits captured the beauty of several society ladies as well as many of the most notable people of the time, such as Louis Pasteur and Nikolai II. Edefelt’s skills both as an artist and a negotiator provided him with substantial power and he was even able to negotiate a separate unit for Finland in the Paris World Fair in 1900, despite all the resistance from Russia. All in all Edelfelt became well acquainted with Paris during his post-graduate years and his breakthrough in that Mecca of Art cleared the path for other young Finnish artists as well. Pia gave me this FDC.

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