24 de julho de 2011

Gunnar Berndtson - Summer

Summer - 1893
Turku Art Museum - Finland

Studying painting in Paris, Finnish painter Gunnar Berndtson (1854-95) regularly exhibited at the Salon at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Berndtson mainly depicted  genre subjects, particularly elegant interiors and lush country scenery. Summer brings together Finnish landscape and nineteen-century bourgeois life. This romanticized view of a sunny summer day is in direct contrast with the reality of Finnish life at the time, which was mostly agricultural and in places even impoverished. The languid mood of the painting speaks of upper-class life, with its opportunities for enjoying  leisure time for farmimg and harvesting. The female figure appears to have been started from her reading by the boy on the boat, or perhaps she is a doting mother or nanny. The landscape is unmistakably Nordic. Berndtson's attention to detail is impeccable: rocks can be seen under the water, the hazy summer sunlight is reflected on the surface of the lake, and the foldsin the central figure's clothes are intricate and lifelike. Berndtson's reputation is somewhat overshadowed by his contemporais, who were inspired by a budding nationalism and promoted the idea of a Finnish nation throu their art. Artists such as Akseli Gallen Kallela (1865-1931) painted poor rural life and subjects from the national epic, The Kelevala. Rather than offering sociopolitical commentary, Berndtson, a genuine salon painter, instead celebrates beautiful clothes and tranquil ladscapes.
Source: Wikipedia, Rikka KUitinnen, net

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