Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Strawberry Girl by Nils Schillmark

The Strawberry Girl (1782) by Nils Schillmark
Finland Stamp 1,70 Issued 1987
Ateneum Finnish National Gallery Helsinki
Schillmark (1745-1802) became one of the most important portrait painters in Finland after being apprenticed in Stockholm to Pehr Fjellström.   He spent much of his life travelling throughout western and southern Finland, completing portraits for those who afford it.  Schillmark used the Baroque style of portrait painting used by Olof Arenius (1701–66). Gradually, Schillmark developed his own penetrating style of portrait painting.

His subjects are engaged and the completed works look very realistic. He had some unusual flair, as displayed in this portrait, where the girl is dressed in a common fashion, although she was actually a member of the mobility - her calm stare against a slightly threatening landscape - it is realistically but impossible at the same time.

This stamp was issued as one of five works in a series of art from the Ateneum Finnish National Gallery.

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