06 tammikuuta 2019

A Few Words About Art & Poetry


This post is partly a re-visit from 1 June 2016 when I wrote about 
one of our most famous female painters - Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946). 
Quite recently I read this stunning book Encounters 
combining her art to the poetry of Edith Södergran (1892-1923).

Encounters is a beautiful poetry and art book in four colors and big size. The dramatic poems of Södergran and the stunning art of Schjerfbeck interact in a touching way. In their lives they had much in common: the fathers died young, they were poor and sick, and neither was much appreciated during her life time. Yet there were some differences. Schjerfbeck was born in Helsinki and lived most of her life in the capital region, only the last few years in Sweden; she lived a long life and passed away at the age of 84. Södergran was born in St. Petersburg and lived and died young at Raivola community (now part of the Soviet Union), only at the age of 31 years.

Edith Södergran’s significance to the Finnish poetry is indisputable. She brought to us modernism and free verses being internationally our most famous poet: her works have been translated into more than 40 languages. Online you can find many sites with Södergran’s poetry in English - here is one and here another.
THE LAND WHICH IS NOT
I long for the land which is not,
for I am tired of desiring all that is.
The moon tells me with writing in silvery clear runes
about the land which is not.
The land where all we wish for wondrously comes into being,
the land where all of our chains fall,
the land where we cool the wounded brows
in the dew of the moon.
My life was a hot illusion.
But one have I found and one thing have I truly won –
the path to the land which is not.

In the land which is not
my beloved walks with a shining crown.
Who is my beloved? The night is dark
and the stars tremble in response.
Who is my beloved? What is his name?
The heavens arch higher and higher,
and a human child drowns in endless fogs
and knows no answer.
But a human child is nothing but certainty.
And it stretches its arms higher than all heavens.
And an answer comes: I am the one you love and always must love.
...

The text on the video is in Swedish because I did not find a good
interpretation in English.


Helene Schjerfbeck is one of the most famous Finnish painters. She started her art studies at the age of 11 and had drawn already years on her own at home. She fell down the stairs at the age of four and her hip injury limited her movements her whole life. She was only 18 when she travelled to France, Italy and England for art studies.

Schjerfbeck was a very original painter with her naturalistic, somewhat masculine and minimalistic style and had her first private exhibition only at the age of 55.  She did not get wider international acknowledgement during her lifetime, but in 2007 her fame exploded owing to exhibitions in Hamburg, Paris and the Hague which gathered over 350 000 visitors. Schjerfbeck painted over 40 self portraits, half of those at the age of over 80. As years went by, the portraits turned to be very plain and reduced.


Convalescent 1888

After 2007 the prices of Schjerfbeck’s paintings went astronomical. 
Her Dancing shoes from 1882 is through times the most expensive Finnish painting 
- sold at the Sotheby’s in 2008:  Estimate 500,000 — 700,000 GBP LOT SOLD 3,044,500 GBP. 
The second place belongs also to Schjerfbeck with a newer version of the same painting.

Art photos from Creative Commons & photographed from this book.


// MOSAIC MONDAY #9

Wishing you an energetic & healthy January!
- riitta

15 kommenttia:

  1. ...art and poetry make life complete.

    VastaaPoista
  2. I have never heard about her. I like her pictures very much - Thank you for sharing...

    VastaaPoista
  3. Thanks for this precious information. I am interested in painting, more than poetry. I am quite a visual person. Have a nice and energetic January you too!

    VastaaPoista
  4. 31...most people's lives are just beginning then.

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Yes, tuberculosis at that time, no antibiotics... Thousands died here, millions (?) worldwide...

      Poista
  5. Riitta - these are new artists for me, and I enjoyed learning about them. How often it is that an artist is not appreciated in her own lifetime … Happy New Year, and I am grateful for the cultural addition to Mosaic Monday this week!

    VastaaPoista
  6. Happy first MosaicMonday in 2019... Art and Poetry are the salt in the soup of life. I enjoyed your post.

    ...Hope for springtime! Wish you, dear Riitta, a very good New Year with health and lucky moments.

    VastaaPoista
  7. No los conocía, las pinturas me han gustado mucho. Besitos.

    VastaaPoista
  8. I enjoyed the poem very much for it speaks of the longings of the heart which we all have. Of the paintings, I prefer the earlier works of the two little girls in their daily routines rather than the pared down older woman. Thank you for sharing these famous Finnish artists.
    By the way, one of my teaching colleagues attended the Finland USA world junior hockey game in Vancouver (just a ferry ride away from us) and was happy to see Finland win the game and take the gold since Canada had lost an earlier game and was no longer a contender.

    VastaaPoista
  9. These are both stunning lady artists on their pwn field. I am not a fan of ice hockey, but my husband was very happy :) Wishing you a good week Lorrie!

    VastaaPoista
  10. Happy new Year dear Riitta - greetings from a rainy und stormy Germany
    Kirsi

    VastaaPoista
  11. Thank you for introducing me to both artists. To me, they both show how they are able to find beauty beyond their pain. It's interesting that Schjerfbeck's work is described as masculine. I don't see it, unless it's to describe her use of bold strokes.

    VastaaPoista

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