Elin Danielson-Gambogi

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Elin Danielson-Gambogi
Elin Danielson-Gambogi (1861-1919).jpg
Photographed in the 1880s
Elin Kleopatra Danielson

(1861-09-03)3 September 1861
Died31 December 1919(1919-12-31) (aged 58)
Known forPainting
MovementNaturalism (arts) and Realism

Elin Kleopatra Danielson-Gambogi (3 September 1861 – 31 December 1919) was a Finnish painter, best known for her realist works and portraits. Danielson-Gambogi was part of the first generation of Finnish women artists who received professional education in art, the so-called "painter sisters' generation". The group also included Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946).[1][2]


Early life and studies[edit]

Elin Danielson was born in the small village of Noormarkku, near the city of Pori in Western Finland to Karl Danielson and Rosa Amalia Danielson. Her early years were however spent at Ilmajoki as her father attempted farming there. Because of the Finnish famine of 1866–68, the farm failed. After being forced to sell the farm, her father Karl shot himself.[3] Her mother Rosa returned to Noormarkku with her two daughters.[3]

At the age of 15 she moved to Helsinki and started studying in the Academy of Fine Arts where her teachers included Carl Eneas Sjöstrand (1828–1906) and Hjalmar Munsterhjelm (1840-1905). In 1878, Danielson started courses with Adolf von Becker (1831–1909).[4][5][6]

Studies in Paris[edit]

In 1883 she left for Paris. She took lessons at the Académie Colarossi under Gustave Courtois (1852– 1923) and painted in Brittany during the summertime. A few years later she returned to Finland and lived with her relatives in Noormarkku and Pori. In 1888 she opened an atelier in Noormarkku. During the 1880s and 1890s she also worked as a teacher in several art schools around Finland.[7][8]

Mother, 1893, a seminal work modeled by the artist's sister[3]
Self-Portrait, 1899
Self-Portrait, 1900 (fi)


In 1895, she received a scholarship and traveled to Florence, Italy. A year later she moved to the village of Antignano in Livorno where she met an Italian painter 13 years younger, Raffaello Gambogi (1874–1943). They began working together and got married in 1898.[3] They held exhibitions in Paris, Florence (where she was awarded an art prize by the city[9]) and Milan and in many Finnish cities, and their paintings were also included in the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, where she again won bronze medal. She also got to second place at the 1901 national portrait painting competition organized by the Finnish state.[9] King Umberto even purchased a painting from her.[9]

Self-Portrait, 1903

Their marriage was strained when Raffaello fell in love with her Finnish friend Dora Wahlroos.[10][3] She moved to Finland for a while, but returned in 1903.[10] Because of World War I, her connection to her home land was cut, and by the time she died of pneumonia at Antignano in 1919, she had been mostly forgotten in Finland.[11]


Her and Raffaello's memorial in Livorno

Because of her choice of rare subject matters that often even caused some offence, she is now seen as one of the central artists of the Golden Age of Finnish Art.[3]

Danielson-Gambogi was included in the 2018 exhibit Women in Paris 1850-1900.[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ It won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.[3]


  1. ^ "Elin Danielson-Gambogi". bukowskis. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Helene Schjerfbeck". Biografiskt lexikon för Finland. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kuvaja, Sini (18 February 2017). "Tunnetko tämän taiteen kultakauden mestarin Noormarkusta? Aikansa kapinallinen eli ja maalasi rohkeasti". Satakunnan Kansa. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Carl Eneas Sjöstrand". Biografiskt lexikon för Finland. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  5. ^ "Munsterhjelm, Magnus Hjalmar". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "Adolf von Becker". lahteilla. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "Elin Danielson-Gambogi". awarewomenartists.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Académie Colarossi". tfsimon.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Konttinen, Riitta (21 October 2015). "Danielson-Gambogi, Elin (1861 - 1919)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Danielson-Gambogi Elin". Yle.
  11. ^ Giovanna Bacci di Capaci Conti, translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff. "Elin Danielson Gambogi". Galleria d'Arte Bacci di Capaci. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Madeline, Laurence (2017). Women artists in Paris, 1850-1900. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300223934.

External links[edit]

Media related to Paintings by Elin Danielson-Gambogi at Wikimedia Commons