Summer | Gunnar Berndtson | 1893

Summer | Gunnar Berndtson | 1893

Summer | Gunnar Berndtson | 1893

The Finnish Gunnard Berndtson may be considered a salon artist, as he painted scenes of everyday life of the upper class, sophisticated and wealthy.

The artist’ sister, Hulda, gets married with a member of the Finnish royal family an moves with her husband to a house in the coast of the province of Uusimaa. There, both build a family and have 9 children, whom were often visited by Berndtson.

Summer is and idyllic scene, in which we look at two of Berndtson’s nephews and nieces sharing a recreational moment: Karin, in the foreground with a book sited on a dock; and Ernst, at the background, fishing on a boat. The illumination us subtle and delicate; and, considering the soft reflexes in the water, the painting gives us a peaceful sensation.

However, beyond the first glance, we notice that the sky is clouded and Karin has a worried expression in her face. There is an explanation: in 1891, two years before the painting, Berndtson’ sister dies inexplicably and the family is left without the mother. The tragedy makes Karin, being the oldest, responsible for the other children, which is exceptionally put in the canvas by the artist, because Karin’s look is put on his brother and, like that, the work takes a new dimension, a new meaning.

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~ by Álvaro Mazzino on November 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Summer | Gunnar Berndtson | 1893”

  1. Hi! It was great to find a Finnish painter here on your website. I’d like to make a notion, though: we don’t have a royal family in Finland, we’ve never had. Hulda’s husband was from a noble family, but not royal. He actually remarried in 1893 and even a third time in 1908. His third wife was Hulda’s cousin and the widow of the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt. Edelfelt was Gunnar Berndtson’s good friend and also painted Hulda with her children. If you like Berndtson’s paintings, you’d probably like Edelfelt’s, too.
    Yours, Leena

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