Aristides Edelfelt was a Finnish Academic painter, one of the
leading Finnish painters during the 19th century.
He was born in
Porvoo, Finland. His architect father Carl Albert gave him training
as a draftsman. Edelfelt admired the poet laureate Johan Ludvig
Runeberg, who was a friend of the family. The company of Runeberg
had a lasting impact on Edelfelt.
studied art from 1869 in Helsinki, Antwerp, Paris and St.
Petersburg, taking up plein-air painting at the influence of
Bastien-Lepage. His work included scenes from Finnish life and
history and some biblical subjects. He also was a portraitist and
During the 1880s he
was acclaimed for portraits and Naturalistic studies, but journeys
to the French and Italian Riviera and to the Finnish lake district
saw him shift from Naturalism to
He married Baroness Ellan de la Chapelle in 1888 and they had one child.
Edelfelt was one of
the first Finnish artists to achieve international fame. He enjoyed
considerable success in Paris and was one of the founders of the
art movement in Finland. He influenced several younger
Finnish painters and helped fellow Finnish artists such as
to make their breakthrough in Paris.
He was chairman of
the Artists' Society of Finland from 1895 to 1904 and the Finnish
Art Society from 1903 up to his death in 1905.