Sign. A tergo painting, oil on canvas, 56x38,5 cm.
Eva Tigerstedt was the daughter of the Chancellor of the University of Helsinki, professor Otto Donner and the wife of artist Gregori Tigerstedt.
Eva Tigerstedt’s parents owned Ahdenkallio Manor near Hyvinkää, where Helene Schjerfbeck and her mother lived 1902 – 1925. Both Eva Tigerstedt and her brother, Harry Donner belonged to Schjerfbeck’s circle of friends and Harry Donner played the piano when the artist celebrated her 60 birthday.
Schjerfbeck often asked friends and relatives to sit for her painting. She had her own way of interpreting a subject and wouldn’t allow the model to see the work in progress; at the end of each sitting, Schjerfbeck would lift the canvas from the easel and turn it so that the picture would face the wall.
In Schjerfbeck’s portraits the subjects very seldom wear jewellery, thus she chose to depict Eva Tigerstedt without the pearl necklace the she is known to have worn during the sittings.
(Source: Lea Bergström – Sue Cedercreutz-Suhonen. Malleja, modeller, models. Gummerus Kirjapaino Jyväskylä 2003).