Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Elin Danielson-Gambogi "Self Portrait, Sun" 1900
Ateneumin Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Finland
Elin Danielson-Gambogi (1861-1919) was lucky enough to have her talent recognized at a young age, and to be born at a time when opportunities for women's higher education in Finland were blossoming.  She was one of the first generation of women to study at the Art School of the Finnish Art Society, and this group of female artists are often collectively referred to in Finnish art history as the "painter sisters' generation".

Danielson-Gambogi quickly earned prominent status in Finnish art circles, which was unusual for an artist of her gender at that time. She was seen as a kind of female Akseli Gallen-Kallela; "the fluency and sureness of her brush is at times astonishing to have come from a woman's hand," praised the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper. While highly regarded as an artist, Danielson-Gambogi ran into difficulties negotiating the "office politics" of the Finnish Art Society's School, where she was teaching by the late 1880's. She left Finland for Italy in 1895, and Italy soon became her second home.

Raffaelo Gambogi "La Pittrice: Portrait of Elin Danielson-Gambogi"

The artistst's husband Raffaelo Gambogi (1874-1942) painted this charming sketch of his wife at the easel.  Raffaelo Gambogi met Elin Danielson while he was studying art in Florence. The couple married in 1898. 

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