1863–1945, Finland

Also known as: VS, VSB, Soldan-Brolelt

Birth 1863, Finland
Died 1945

During the 1890s Venny Soldan-Brofelt was one of the foremost
folkloristic painters in Finland. During this decade her
motifs were closely related to the interests of her husband, the
writer Juhani Aho. They were both particularly interested in
the revivalist movement in northern Savo and in Ostrobothnia.
This movement was one of the most influential revivalist movements
within the Lutheran church. Aho who had been raised
in a vicarage in Savo, had become acquainted with the revivalists
in his childhood home. There Venny Soldan-Brofelt first
came into contact with members of the movement. This motif
is repeated in three large oil paintings of which Farmhouse in
Savo ,from 1892, is the first. It is well-known how the painting
came into existence: 1892 was an important year for so called
karelianism in Finland. Inspired by the national epos Kalevala
many Finnish artists visited adjacent Karelia in search of their
roots. During the rainy summer of 1892, Venny Soldan-Brofelt
went on a “pilgrimage” to Karelia together with Juhani Aho
and their friend, the painter Eero Järnefelt. She never became
converted to karelianism, but during this trip she acquired a
deeper understanding of life in the Finnish countryside. When
she came back from Karelia Soldan-Brofelt spent the rest of
the summer and the autumn near Iisalmi, at Kusti Niskanen’s
house in the vicinity of Puustellinniemi on the shore of Lake
Haapajärvi. Here she painted A farmhouse in Savo and used
the inhabitants of the house as models. The Niskanen family
belonged to the revivalist movement and in the painting
Soldan-Brofelt has emphasized the holy nature of the meal by
surrounding the heads of the diners with a barely discernible
halo of light. At the same time the painting is a beautiful description
of rustic life. The work is realistic without being finicky.
Soldan- Brofelt used soft hues and the play of light and
shadows emphasizes the peace that reigns in the cottage.
In St. Petersburg, 1883-1884, Venny Soldan-Brofelt had, for the
first time, come into contact with international Art. At that
time she studied at the Stieglitz School of Drawing but she
also took private lessons in painting. It is not known who her
teacher was, but she wrote home that she dreamt of studying
painting under Ilja Repin. Although Soldan-Brofelt studied in
Paris during the late 1880s and thus came into contact with
French realism and naturalism, traces of Russian peredvižnik
realism can be seen in the way she has captured rustic life
in A farmhouse in Savo. This is noticeable both in the composition
and in the technique. The painting meant so much
to Soldan-Brofelt and to her contemporaries that she painted
another version of it (Riihimäki Art Museum, Tatjana and
Pentti Wähäjärvi’s collction). This work isn’t of quite the same
standard as the original painting.

Text Riitta Konttinen

Source: Bukowskis, Finland

Citronträd På Terass by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Citronträd På Terass

Price SEK 15,000 (€1,583)
Estimated SEK 8,000–10,000
By The Spring by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

By The Spring

Price EUR 8,400
Estimated EUR 2,500
Still Life With Flowers by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Still Life With Flowers

Price EUR 3,962
Estimated EUR 1,500–2,000
Cliffs On The Shore by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Cliffs On The Shore (-13)

Price EUR 2,041 Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated EUR 2,000–2,500
Children Playing By The Shore by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Children Playing By The Shore

Price EUR 10,718 Incl. buyer's premium
Estimated EUR 2,000–3,000
Still Life With Flowers by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Still Life With Flowers (-42)

Price EUR 2,807
Estimated EUR 1,200–1,500
A Girl On The Cliffs In Hanko by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

A Girl On The Cliffs In Hanko

Price EUR 3,800
Estimated EUR 1,500–2,500
Day Dream by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Day Dream (1941)

Price EUR 3,000
Estimated EUR 2,000–2,500
A View From Italy by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

A View From Italy

Price EUR 3,400
Estimated EUR 3,000–4,000
Supper At A Finnish Farmhouse by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Supper At A Finnish Farmhouse (-92)

Price EUR 40,000
Estimated EUR 40,000–60,000
Grounds by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT


Price EUR 2,400
Estimated EUR 2,500
Boy On A Shore by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Boy On A Shore

Price EUR 2,400
Estimated EUR 2,500
Ung Mor Med Sovande Barn by Venny SOLDAN-BROFELDT

Ung Mor Med Sovande Barn

Price EUR 8,500
Estimated EUR 5,000–7,000
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