Albert Edelfelt, Aino Ackté and her daughter Glory.
Not signed. Oil on canvas 73x60 cm.
Wear due to age and use.
Aino Ackté, thence by descent in the family.
"Albert Edelfelt in Paris", the Art Museum of Turku, 6.5.-16.9.2001.
"Edelfelt in Paris", Tikanoja Art Museum, Vaasa, 29.9.-28.11.2001.
Aino Ackté, "Minnen och upplevelser I", Helsinki, 1925.
Berta Edelfelt, "Kring sekelskiftet: ur Albert Edelfelts brev", Helsinki, 1930, p.293.
Aino Ackté, "Taiteeni Taipaleelta", Helsinki, 1935, illustrated on p.35.
L.Wennervirta, "Aino Ackte´-Albert Edelfelt", WSOY, 1944, illustrated on p.64.
Paris à vos pieds – Paris at your feet, as Albert Edelfelt named one of his last paintings depicting Finland’s international opera diva Aino Ackté with her daughter Glory in a sunny summer view of Paris. The oil painting is based on an aquarelle sketch painted by the Grand Hôtel de Bellevue in Meudon, southwest of the river Seine. Ackté-Renvall resided there in spring 1904. The hotel is surrounded by a large park, and just below the hill we can see Seine. In the background, we can see Paris with its factories and buildings, and of course the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of the city.
Both Aino and Glory are wearing light white summer dresses, and Aino is bearing a magnificent hat, decorated fashionably with a large turquois plume. The artist has depicted the dress with long, sweeping, Art Nouveau-like lines, as in Ville Vallgren’s sculptures. They imitate the curved lines of nature itself. The noble opera diva sits literally above Paris. She owns Paris while being a mother – to not just anyone but Edelfelt's goddaughter Glory.
Edelfelt was planning to show the painting, a gift to Aino, to her before he would sign it. Unfortunately, this was interrupted by the artist’s death in 1905, at the age of only 51 years. The painting has been hanging in the parlour of the family Ackté-Renvall’s home.
Text by Marina Catani.
Aino Ackté (1876–1944) started studies at the Paris Conservatory in 1894 and was hired by the Paris Opera in 1897. She is known for her soprano interpretations in Faust, Romeo and Juliet, Salome, Tosca, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin. She performed at famous stages, such as the New York Metropolitan and Covent Garden in London. Edelfelt painted many portraits of her during his final years from 1901 to 1904.
Glory Leppänen, née Renvall (1901–1979) became known as an actress, a theatre manager and a stage director.
Picture: Aino Ackté in her home
Photo: Pentinen, 1931
Finnish Heritage Agency, Historical Collection, Pietinen Collection
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