My friend Merja sent me this pretty card with a painting by Helene Schjerfbeck.
Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946). 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)