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Helene Schjerfbeck

Born: Helsinki, 10 July 1862
Died: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden, 23 January 1946
Nationality: Finnish

middle class; crippled due to childhood accident; never married, lived with/cared for mother until mother’s death in 1923


Finnish Art Society (1873, Helsinki); Adolf von Becker’s Academy (1877, Helsinki); with Léon Bonnat and Jean-Léon Gérôme at Académie Trélat de Vigne (1880, Paris); with Gustave Courois and Raphael Collin at Académie Colarossi (Paris)


1883 – begins exhibiting at the Paris Salon

1889 – The Convalescent wins bronze medal at Exposition universelle (Paris)

 1890 – returns to Helsinki

1893 – begins teaching at Finnish Art Society drawing school

1902 – resigns from teaching post; moves to Hyvinkää

1917 – solo exhibition in Helsinki organized by Gösta Stenman, a journalist and art dealer

1920 – exhibits with Vapaat (the Free Ones) in Helsinki; again in 1924; exhibits regularly with Turku Art Society throughout 1920s

1925 – moves to Tammisaari

1934 – solo exhibition at Gösta Stenman’s gallery in Stockholm; again in 1942

1944 – moves to Saltsjöbaden (near Stockholm)


Paris (1880-1890); St Ives, Cornwall; St. Petersburg (1892); Vienna (1894); Florence

Important Artworks: 

Wounded Warrior in the Snow, 1880 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

Self-Portrait, 1884-85 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

The Convalescent, 1887 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

Churchgoers, 1895-1900 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

The Seamstress, 1905 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

Self-Portrait, Black Background, 1915 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)