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Venny Soldan-Brofeldt

(Finland, 1863-1945)
Venny Soldan-Brofeldt
(Finland, 1863-1945)

Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, "The Fyke".

Sign. Executed in 1894. Oil on canvas 74x138 cm.

Wear due to age and use.


Directly from the artist to Theodor Brofeldt, who was Juhani Aho's father. Thence by descent to the present owner.


Exhibition of the Artists' Association of Finland, Ateneum Art Museum, 1894.
"Venny Soldan Brofeldt. Taiteilija ja äiti", Joensuu Art Museum, 2.7.-30.8.1987.
"Saari suuressa meressä– Maisemia ja elämää rantojen äärellä", Järvenpää Art Museum, 7.6. - 8.9.2005
"Tuokiokuvia taidemuseon kokoelmasta - uudet hankinnat esittäytyvät", Järvenpää Art Museum, 16.9.2005-29.1.2006
"Värin voima", Järvenpää Art Museum, 9.6.- 10.9.2006.
"Kaukaista sukua - Järnefelt, Wright, Lucander, Soldan", Järvenpää Art Museum, 3.2.-30.5.2010
"Kokoelma kuljettaa - kurkistuksia paikkoihin ja maisemiin", Järvenpää Art Museum, 13.10.2011–29.1.2012
"Tyypit. Kansankuvia kokoelmasta", Järvenpää Art Museum, 12.10.–16.12.2012.
"Nimimerkki VSB Venny Soldan-Brofeldt 150 vuotta", Järvenpää Art Museum, 2.2-11.8.2013.
"Meidän Eero ja Venny - yleisön suosikit", Järvenpää Art Museum, 15.6.–28.9.2014.
"Saimi kedolla" – Järvenpään taidemuseon uutuudet esittäytyvät, 18.2.–24.4.2016
"Säädytön yhteiskunta – Tuusulanjärven taiteilijayhteisö 120 vuotta", Järvenpää Art Museum, 26.10.2017–31.1.2018
"Sadejuovia ja pilvisäteitä - taiteilijoiden taivaat meteorologin silmin", Järvenpää Art Museum, 1.3.-30.9.2019.
"Tyven meri, turkoosi taivas – Venny Soldan-Brofeldt ja Hugo Backmansson", Järvenpää Art Museum, 28.2.-29.8.2021.
Eero Järnefelt and Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, collections of Järvenpää Art Museum, starting from 2.5.2023


Nuori Suomi Päivälehden Joulualbumi IV, 1894, depicted on p.33.
Riitta Konttinen, "Boheemielämä-Venny Soldan Brofeldtin taiteilijantie", Otava, 1996, described on p.130.
Seija Paasonen, "Taiteilijoiden taivaat Meteorologin silmin", Maahenki Oy, 2018, illustrated on p.15.

More information

Venny Soldan-Brofeldt painted the large oil painting "The Fyke" in the summer of 1894 on Lill-Svartö in Porkkala, where she was staying with her husband, the writer Juhani Aho. Fishing had been familiar and dear to Venny since childhood, as the Soldan family had spent all their summers in the Gulf of Finland archipelago. Right from the start of her marriage, Venny Soldan-Brofeldt was keen to take her husband to the outer archipelago. For Juhani Aho, a native of Savonia, the nature of the archipelago and the local fishermen were new acquaintances. The couple's first summer trip together was to Porkkala in 1892, and they returned to the small fisherman's cottage they had found on Lill-Svartö several times in the following years. Venny Soldan-Brofeldt described Lill-Svartö as "the most delightful place on the edge of the vast sea", "a revelation - and an elementary find", and "The Fyke" becomes her tribute to the sea and the relentless fishermen who depend on it for their livelihood. She later returned to the same theme in several paintings and drawings during her stays on the Hanko peninsula, where the family rented a summer residence for several years.

The motif of Soldan-Brofeldt's large painting "The Fyke" is stripped down: two fishing boats on a calm sea, either at sunrise or sunset, and the fishermen lifting the fyke. A small but important detail is the addition of white seagulls or terns, which would later recur frequently in Venny Soldan-Brofeldt's paintings. When the work was exhibited at the Exhibition of the Artists’ Association in Finland in the autumn of 1894, the bright blue, turquoise-shifting main colour, and the breaking red and yellow shades attracted a lot of attention, as they differed markedly from Soldan-Brofeldt's earlier, relatively dark colour scale. Points of contact were sought in Symbolism, which had just been introduced in Finland, and the light of the painting brought to mind Italy, where Venny Soldan-Brofeldt and Juhani Aho had spent a spring the previous year.

Riitta Konttinen

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27 000
295 380
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