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Helene Scherfbeck’s The Convalescent arrives in Siida

Jun 20, 2017 10:00 AM

The Convalescent by Helene Scherfbeck will be at display in the Sámi Museum Siida in Inari from 25 July to 27 August 2017. The “opening” of the painting will take place on Monday 24 July 2017 at 5 p.m. There will be a unique presentation in Siida’s auditorium, in which Kirsi Hiltunen, the Head of Conservation in the National Gallery, will tell about Helene Scherfbeck’s work both in general and from the point of view of her special field. After the presentation, the audience can look at The Convalescent in the exhibition hall.

Many important conservation projects of the Ateneum Art Museum, including Helene Scherfbeck’s works, pass through the hands, or at least eyes, of Kirsi Hiltunen.

Sometimes conservation measures reveal great surprises, as happened in the autumn of 2012 when the work Woman and Child was discovered beneath Helene Scherfbeck’s painting The Landscape of Raseborg (1890). Before this, no-one had known about the existence of this Woman and Child painting, and the discovery of a new work by Scherfbeck was a real sensation.

To celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence, the Finland 100, the most cherished classics of Ateneum – Helene Scherfbeck’s The Convalescent (1888) and Eero Järnefelt’s Wage Slaves / Burn-Beating (1893) – are on a tour around the country. Already during her lifetime, Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) was considered one of the leading artists of Finland. The Convalescent was painted in the village of St. Ives in Cornwall, England, an area Scherfbeck visited twice in the late 1880s. The model of the painting was a lively, approximately six-year-old girl, whose frustrated teacher was happy to let her miss school because of modelling. The year the painting was completed – 1888 – it was displayed at the Paris Salon under the name Première verdure, or “first greenery”. The work was included in the collections of the Ateneum Art Museum the same year.

The visit of The Convalescent in the Sámi Museum Siida is a significant occasion: such a classic painting has never before been available for the public in Inari.

The Convalescent will be spotlighted in Siida throughout its display period, and, on 26 July 2017, the work will highlight Siida’s Summer Day. Siida’s Summer Day is part of the programme of the Inari Weeks.


Further information: Marjo-Riitta Rantamäki, Collections Specialist, marjo-riitta.rantamaki@samimuseum.fi, tel. +358 40 571 5670

Sámi museum, Siida, Inarintie 46, FI-99870 Inari, tel. +358 (0)400 898 212, siida@samimuseum.fi, www.siida.fi

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