32 Facts About Albert Edelfelt


Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt was a Finnish-Swedish painter noted for his naturalistic style and Realist approach to art.

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Albert Edelfelt lived in the Grand Duchy of Finland and made Finnish culture visible abroad, before Finland gained full independence.

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Albert Edelfelt's father died when he was still young, and his mother had to raise him and his younger siblings alone compounded by financial difficulties.

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Albert Edelfelt was very close with his mother throughout his life.

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Albert Edelfelt then received a scholarship from the Finnish government to study history painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Albert Edelfelt studied under Nicaise de Keyser, and won an award for excellence for his painting of Alexander the Great on his deathbed.

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Albert Edelfelt began a long-lasting friendship with the Belgian artist Emile Claus.

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Albert Edelfelt shared a small studio with a Finnish friend at 24 Rue Bonaparte.

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Albert Edelfelt became friends with the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage, who introduced him the techniques of painting in open air.

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The French critics praised the realism of the figures, but Albert Edelfelt noticed the incongruity between the historical figures and the realistic outdoor setting.

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Albert Edelfelt went back to Finland for a time, then returned to Paris in 1881 and rented a new studio at 147 avenue des Villiers.

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In 1880 Albert Edelfelt became a friend of Jean-Baptiste Pasteur, the son of the famous chemist Louis Pasteur who introduced him to Pasteur the following year.

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Albert Edelfelt became a close friend of family, and painted many of their portraits over the following years.

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Albert Edelfelt began by painting portraits of his family and relatives, but his skills very quickly brought him a large clientele.

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Albert Edelfelt mobilised a network of Finnish artists and cultural figures with a petition to the Russian government, called "Pro Finlandia", seeking recognition of the independence of the arts in Finland.

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Albert Edelfelt took on the role of a cultural diplomat as the commissioner of the Finnish participation in the Paris Exposition Universelle .

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Albert Edelfelt frequently used his family and local residents as models.

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Albert Edelfelt's pictures have a spontaneity and naturalness resulting from his careful observation and empathy for the subjects.

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Albert Edelfelt had a series of preparatory drawings with pencil and crayon, then with pastel colors, before making the final oil painting.

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In Spain, Albert Edelfelt gained a deeper grasp of Gypsy culture and Orientalism which had always interested him.

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Albert Edelfelt admired the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who was a friend of the family.

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Albert Edelfelt went on to illustrate Runeberg's epic poem The Tales of Ensign Stal.

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Albert Edelfelt later dabbled in religious painting, and in his 1890 Christ and Mary Magdalene he set a biblical scene in the Finnish landscape, influenced by Kanteletar.

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Albert Edelfelt sent his mother hundreds of letters when he was away.

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Albert Edelfelt had romantic relationships with numerous women, including Antonia Bonjean and Virginie in Paris.

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Albert Edelfelt married Baroness Anna Elise "Ellan" de la Chapelle in 1888, and the same year they had one child, Erik.

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Albert Edelfelt died abruptly from heart failure in 1905 at the age of fifty-one.

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Albert Edelfelt's funeral was attended by a large number of notable Finns.

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Albert Edelfelt influenced several younger Finnish painters and helped fellow Finnish artists such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Gunnar Berndtson to make their breakthrough in Paris.

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Albert Edelfelt was one of the first Finnish artists to achieve international fame.

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Albert Edelfelt is considered one of the most notable artists of the Golden Age of Finnish Art.

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Albert Edelfelt was selected as the main motif on a Finnish commemorative coin celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth, the €100 Albert Edelfelt and painting commemorative coin, minted in 2004.

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