32 Facts About Albert Edelfelt


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


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


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.


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


Albert Edelfelt began his formal studies of art in 1869 at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society in Helsinki and continued as a student of Adolf von Becker.


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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