Lot 16
  • 16

Helene Schjerfbeck

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Helene Schjerfbeck
  • Camellias
  • signed with initials lower left
  • oil on board
  • 35 by 31cm., 13¾ by 12¼in.


Taidekauppa Boström, Helsinki
Margaretha Ehrnrooth (née Brusiin, 1900-1992; purchased from the above. Margaretha's mother Esther Lupander was a cousin of Helene Schjerfbeck, and the model for Dancing Shoes, of which the prime version was sold in these rooms in 2008)
Maria Ramsay, Esbo (by 1951; a gift from the above, her mother); thence by descent


Tenerife, Aula de Cultura de Tenerife, Homenaje a Alfonso Trujillo, Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946), 1982, illustrated in the catalogue


H. Ahtela (Einar Reuter), Helene Schjerfbeck, Stockholm, 1953, p. 368, no. 762, catalogued (as Kamelior)

Catalogue Note

'Even in her still lifes, colour constitutes the single most important element…in her later still lifes, intense red and green, even black, serve as a means of creating form and spiritual intensity as an element removed and transposed from reality'

Salme Sarajas-Korte

Painted circa 1934.

Unseen in public for decades, Camellias is a rediscovery from Schjerfbeck's late period, belonging to a series of fruit and flower still lifes she painted from 1915 onwards. While in her early work still lifes often appear as embellishments to figural paintings, within her late oeuvre they become important subjects in their own right. 'The serenity of Helene Schjerfbeck's still lifes reflects the isolation and solitude through which the artist found the essential: the concentration of mind, contemplation and simplicity of expression provide immediate contact and impact' (Helmiriitta Sariola, 'Nature morte' in Helene Schjerfbeck, Ateneum, Helsinki, 1992, exh. cat. p. 83).

It was during the 1930s that Schjerfbeck also reached the height of public recognition. In 1934 a large number of her works were presented alongside those of three other Finnish painters at the Liljevalch Konsthall in Stockholm. That same year, the Nationalmuseum Stockholm, to whom Gösta Stenman had already donated a Schjerfbeck work in 1926, made its first purchase of a painting by Schjerfbeck, Tapestry Girl (1915). Stenman, who that year moved his gallery to Stockholm, also donated one painting each to the art museums of Malmö and Ekilstuna. And three years later he organised Schjerfbeck's second large-scale solo exhibition, a show that included almost one hundred exhibits.