Albert Edelfelt. Aino Ackté and her daughter Glory. Estimate: 40 000 - 50 000 €.
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.
The work is for sale at Helsinki Winter Sale, November 27 - December 13. For more information and condition reports, please contact: email@example.com, +358 (0)50 410 1377.
Image: Aino Ackté in her home
Photo: Pietinen, 1931, Finnish National Board of Antiquities, historical collection, the Pietinen collection
Text: Marina Catani