Sunday, August 12, 2012

Paintings 30.9.1975

The stamps on this Finnish FDC have paintings by famous artists. They were issued to bolster the anti-TB fund. The surcharge indicated on the stamps went towards fighting the dreaded disease TB. The details of the stamps are :- 1/3 - Ellen Thesleff. 'Kaiku' ('The Echo') 1932), 2/3 -  Maria Wiik. 'Hilda Wiik', by Maria Wiik (2.8.1853 - 19.6.1928). 3/3 - Helene Schjerfbeck. 'Kotona' ('At home') 1903 by Schjerfbeck Helena Sofia (10.7.1862 - 23.1.1946). The stamps and the cover were issued on 30.9.1975. Brief details about these artists are given below. This lovely FDC was given to me by Pia.

Ellen Thesleff (b Helsinki, 5 Oct 1869; d Helsinki, 12 Jan 1954). Finnish painter, printmaker and draughtsman. She studied in Finland at Gunnar Fredrik Berndtson's school in 1890 and in Paris at the Académie Colarossi during various short intervals between 1891 and 1894. Along with Magnus Enckell she was a member of a group of Finnish artists who were powerfully influenced by the Symbolist movement in Paris, which drew its inspiration above all from ancient primitive art and from the work of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Eugène Carrière. During the early 1890s Thesleff concentrated on portraits of her friends and relatives. Kaiku ("The Echo"), a culturally and historically significant painting by Ellen Thesleff (1869-1954), was sold for 500,000 euros at the Hagelstam auction house in Helsinki. Ellen. She studied at Adolf von Becker's private academy, the drawing school of the Finnish Art Society, Gunnar Fredrik Berndtson's school, and in Paris at the Académie Colarossi. She became a member of a group of Finnish artists influenced by the Symbolist movement in Paris. She travelled widely and exhibited works in various countries, including Sweden, Russia, Italy and Norway. She died in Helsinki in 1952.
Maria Wiik (b Helsinki, 2 Aug 1853; d Helsinki, 19 June 1928). Finnish painter. She studied in Paris at the Académie Julian from 1875 to 1876 under Tony Robert-Fleury and continued her studies with him in the same studio between 1877 and 1880. Her paintings appeared at the Salon for the first time in 1880. The realist techniques Wiik absorbed in Paris came to form the basis of her work, tranquil in composition and restrained in colour. Her favourite subjects were relatively small-scale portraits such as Hilda Wiik (1881; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) and still-lifes (e.g. Still-life , c. 1880; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.). Like many other foreign painters Wiik went to Brittany to paint. In 1883–4 she worked in Concarneau and Pont-Aven, where her enthusiasm for plein-air painting brought immediacy to her work and greater brightness to her colours (e.g. Breton Farm , 1883; Naantali. Finnish born artist from Helsingfors, Helsinki, who followed her fellow student friend Helene SCHJERFBECK to the St Ives Colony in 1887-1889. Previously they had both attended the Finska Konstreningen, and were amongst the first group of Finnish women painters to study in France.
Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946). She 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. Throughout her long life, her work changed dramatically. ‘At Home’, 1903. Acquired by the Turku Art Museum from the 1904 Turku Art Society's annual exhibition. Helene Schjerfbeck is known especially for paintings depicting women, children and the home. As early as the 1890s Schjerfbeck felt a need to simplify her style, which initially led her to eliminate details from the background and to reduce her palette. This is apparent also in many of the portraits she painted of her mother, Olga Schjerfbeck (1839–1923).
Her work starts with a dazzlingly skilled, somewhat melancholic version of late-19th-century academic realism…it 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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