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Albert Edelfelt (Finland 1854‑1905)

”Blommande hagtorn (Vy från Chantilly)”
(”Flowering Hawthorn – View from Chantilly”)

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Classic & Asian 15-18 June 2021

Lot 823. Albert Edelfelt (Finland 1854‑1905). ”Blommande hagtorn (Vy från Chantilly)” (”Flowering Hawthorn – View from Chantilly”). Signed with monogram and dated AE Chantilly 20 juin 86. Oil on panel, 41.5 x 31.5 cm.


600.000 – 800.000 SEK
€ 59.000 – 79.000


Annie & Berta Edelfelt (sisters of the artist), by descent from the artist.
Galerie Hörhammer, Helsinki, acquired from the above.
Alvar Bergroth, Helsinki, acquired from the above.
Thence by descent to his daughter, Annikki Bergroth.
Thence by descent until 2020.


Helsinki, ”Edelfelt exhibition”, October-November 1886.
Ateneum, Helsinki, ”Edelfelt”, February 1902.
Turku, ”12th annual exhibition of the Turku Art Society”, March 1902, cat. no. 10, titled ”Blommande träd”.


Bertel Hintze, Albert Edelfelt, 1942, vol. III, p. 81, no. 368, illustrated p. 80, fragment illustrated p. 8, no. 368.
Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse, Albert Edelfelt 1854‑1905 Jubilee Book, 2004, pp. 338, 348‑49, titled “Kukkivia orapihlajia (Näköala Chantillysta)”.
M. Vaino-Kurtakko, H. Tandefelt & E. Stubb, i Albert Ederlfelts brev till sin mor, Elektroniska
brev- och konstutgåva utgivna av Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland i samarbete med Finlands Nationalgalleri och Ateneum.

In context

The blossoming trees of Edelfelt

In 1886 Albert Edelfelt climbed to the “peak of his international career” (Timo Huusko and Rainer Knapas, in L. Ahtola-Moorhouse, op. cit., p. 309). Having painted his iconic image of Louis Pasteur the year before, Edelfelt was now discovered by a new audience. The portrait of Louis Pasteur was a brilliant success at the Salon. The French government acquired the painting for the Musée du Luxembourg (now the Musée d’Orsay). With the aid of Helene Schjerfbeck, Edelfelt has to paint a replica for Pasteur (now in the Pasteur Institute). He now sought out more challenging artistic endeavors. In April he met Émile Zola through the publisher Charpentrier and the same month he began working on his celebrated impressionistic masterpiece “The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris”, completed in May the following year (Ateneum, Helsinki). From letters between the artist and his mother we know that the work on “The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris” was not moving at Edelfelt’s desired pace. Notably, the surrounding trees play a key part in the composition. Since artists, however, were not allowed to paint in the Luxembourg gardens, his friend, the painter Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret, welcomed him to carry out studies and work on the picture in his garden in Neuilly.

Château des Bouleaux in Chantilly.
Château des Bouleaux in Chantilly.

In May Edelfelt was invited to Château des Bouleaux in Chantilly, the home of writer and playwright Henri Amic, together with Ellen de Chapelle, whom he had met in Paris during the spring, who the following year was to become his wife. Amic had inherited the Château from his father Antoine, who between 1860-62 was the Mayor of Gouvieux. Edelfelt had met Henri Amic a year before on a steamboat in Sweden. Edelfelt first visited Amic at Château des Bouleaux during a hunt and shoot in mid-January 1886. Amic often invited guests from the artistic circles to his house. He was a very close friend of the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage and the writer George Sand. Edelfelt and Amic became lifelong friends. Through Amic, Edelfelt was introduced to a number of French artists and writers. Amic was also a friend of the Swedish painter Prince Eugen, who stayed with him for several weeks in April 1886 (during the summer of 1892, Amic visited Prince Eugen in southern Sweden). In 1908, Amic published an autobiography entitled Jours Passés.

In a letter to his mother dated 18 May 1886 Edelfelt mentions that he had spent the previous weekend at Amic’s place in Chantilly. After describing who the guests were, amongst them Louis Pasteur and his wife, he turns to a vivid description of the surrounding landscape (Ur Albert Edelfelts brev, Liv och arbete, 1926, p. 135):

”Vad där var vackert på landet! Rikt och präktigt planterat, stora hönsgårdar och jaktparker och trädgårdar med blommor i tusental, rosor, pioner, syrener, aubépiner [hagtorn], hägg och kastanjer – det var alldeles henrivande.” (The countryside is really beautiful! [The park] is rich with planted trees, large hen houses and hunting grounds and gardens with a magnitude of blossoming flowers, roses, peonies, lilacs, hawthorns, bird cherry and chestnut – it was breathtaking!)

Albert Edelfelt ”The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris”, 1886, (Ateneum, Helsinki).
Albert Edelfelt ”The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris”, 1886, (Ateneum, Helsinki).

One of the guests, Guignard, Amic’s brother-in-law, a writer, offered Edelfelt to use a conservatory in his garden as a studio in order to finish “The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris”.

The date of the present work, 20 June 1886, shows that Edelfelt revisited Amic at Château des Bouleaux in late June. No doubt his preoccupation with “The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris”, with its rendering of blossoming trees in the background, inspired him in the execution of the picture. Shortly afterwards he left Paris for Finland bringing the present work with him. In November he had a solo show in Helsinki, in which the picture was included.

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