Helene Schjerfbeck
Portrait of a Girl


Pencil, charcoal and gouache on paper.

36,0 cm x 29,0 cm.

Portrait of a Girl (1928) by Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) is a study of a young woman’s face. The work is very much of its time, the model’s look being in line with 1920s’ ideals with her bobbed hair and a slender neck. The girl is portrayed in profile, in highly stylised fashion, mostly based on a dark line and the contrast between black and white. Schjerfbeck has emphasised the profile with a pale-coloured outline, and then finished it off with a round, white colour field in front of the girl’s mouth, which sets off the coal-black hair and the brown background colour.