Helene Schjerfbeck (1862 - 1946) is one of the most famous Finnish painters. She started her art studies at the age of 11 and had drawn already years. She had fell down at the age of four and her hip injury limited her movements. She was only 18 when she travelled to France, Italy and England for art studies.
She was a very original painter with her naturalistic, somewhat masculine style. She was already 55 when she had her first own exhibition. She did not get wider international acknowledgement during her lifetime. In 2007 her fame exploded owing to exhibitions in Hamburg, Paris and the Hague which gathered over 350 000 visitors.
After 2007 the prizes of her paintings went astronomical. Her Dancing shoes from 1882 is through times the most expensive Finnish painting - sold at Sotheby's in 2008. The second place belongs also to Schjerfbeck with a newer version of the same painting.