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), Helena Westermarck (1857-1938), and Maria Wiik (1853-1928).[1][2][3]


Early life and studies[edit]

Elin Danielson was born in the small village of Noormarkku, near the city of Pori in Western Finland. She was the first-born child of Karl Danielson and Rosa Amalia Danielson, who both came from families of officers and officials, putting her in a middle-class background.[4] Her early years were spent on a family farm, Ala-Sihtola in Ilmajoki.[4] Because of the Finnish famine of 1866–68, the farm failed and Karl Danielson went bankrupt.[4] After being forced to sell the farm, her father Karl committed suicide.[5] Her mother Rosa returned to Noormarkku with her two daughters.[5] Determined to provide a decent education for her daughters, Rosa worked a variety of jobs. Following the tragedy, and surrounded by the strong female figures of her mother, aunt, and grandmother, Danielson adapted an independent survival strategy.[4]

At the age of 15, Danielson moved to Helsinki and began studying in the Academy of Fine Arts where her teachers included Carl Eneas Sjöstrand and Hjalmar Munsterhjelm. In 1878, Danielson started courses with Adolf von Becker.[6][7][8]


In 1883 Danielson received a grant and moved to Paris. While there, she took lessons at the Académie Colarossi under Gustave Courtois 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 worked as a teacher in several art schools around Finland.[9][10] She also attended the artists' colony Önningeby.

Artists at Önningeby in 1886. On the front from left: Hanna Rönnberg, Hilma Westerholm, Elin Danielson and Nina Ahlstedt. Behind them sitting in the chair Fredrik Ahlstedt and standing by him Victor Westerholm. Sitting on the ground in the back Alex Federley and standing behind him J. A. G. Acke.
Mother, 1893, modeled by the artist's sister[5]


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 on February 27, 1898.[5][4] They held exhibitions in Paris, Florence (where she was awarded an art prize by the city[11]) 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.[11] In 1899, King Umberto purchased a painting from her.[11] That same year, she participated in the Venice Biennale.

Their marriage was strained when Raffaello had an affair with Danielson's Finnish friend Dora Wahlroos.[12][5] While the affair quickly ended, it had a lasting impact on the Gambogi's marriage.[4] She moved to Finland for a while, but returned in 1903.[12] 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.[13]


Because of her choice of rare subject matters that often even caused some offence, Danielson is now seen as one of the central artists of the Golden Age of Finnish Art.[5] Danielson-Gambogi was included in the 2018 exhibit Women in Paris 1850-1900.[14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ It won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.[5]


  1. ^ "Elin Danielson-Gambogi". bukowskis. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Helene Schjerfbeck". Biografiskt lexikon för Finland. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  3. ^ "Description for Portrait of Helena Westermarck". taide.art. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Wiljanen, Anna-Maria; Graham, Fiona (2018-07-03). "The Various Roles of Women in the Artists' Colony of Önningeby". Art in Translation. 10 (3): 352–370. doi:10.1080/17561310.2017.1327271. ISSN 1756-1310.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Carl Eneas Sjöstrand". Biografiskt lexikon för Finland. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  7. ^ "Munsterhjelm, Magnus Hjalmar". Nordisk familjebok. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  8. ^ "Adolf von Becker". lahteilla. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  9. ^ "Elin Danielson-Gambogi". awarewomenartists.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  10. ^ "Académie Colarossi". tfsimon.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Konttinen, Riitta (21 October 2015). "Danielson-Gambogi, Elin (1861 - 1919)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Danielson-Gambogi Elin". Yle.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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