Berndt Godenhjelm

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Berndt Godenhjelm (March 30, 1799 - 14 December 1881) was a Finnish painter.

Personal life[edit]

Godenhjelm was born in Mäntyharju. His parents were the county surveyor Adolf Fredrik Godenhjelm and Maria Elizabeth Argillander. His wife was Alexandra Fredrika Hornborg (died 1871). Their son B. F. Godenhjelm became a teacher.

Early career[edit]

He studied landscape painting in Stockholm under Pehr Gustaf von Heideken, and later he studied copper drawing in Saint Petersburg. He initially began his career in the courts, where he worked as an articled clerks deputy judge in 1826. However soon after he transitioned to painting, primarily producing commissioned works for churches and portraits.

Works and memberships[edit]

During his career, he painted dozens of altarpieces including ones for the Mäntyharju church, the Lovage church, the Liperi church (1842), the Jämsä church (1848), the Ikaalinen church (1874) and Finnish Lutheran Church in Sitka, Alaska founded by Uno Cygnaeus in 1840. Some of his works have been preserved at the Tampere Art Museum and the National Museum of Finland. Godenhjelm was head teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki drawing school from 1848 to 1869. He was an honorary member of the Finnish Artists' Association in 1864, and the Finnish Art Society board member from 1852 to 1868.


  • Ilmari Heikinheimo: Finland elämäkerrasto. Helsinki: Werner Söderström Corporation, 1955. Page 232