Helene Schjerfbeck
By the Cradle


Oil on canvas.

62,0 cm x 49,5 cm.

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) spent the summer of 1893 painting in Kangasala with Maria Wiik and Ada Thilén. Kangasala was a town in the Finnish-speaking region of Häme to which several artists made field trips in order to capture the life of the Finnish peasantry. During that summer, Schjerfbeck especially painted local children,and and By the Cradle (1893) was her major work from her sojourn in the region. The work is set in a peasant household, whose soft, hazy light is rendered by Schjerfbeck using gentle, almost pastel tones.