An exhibition of works by Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) is to be presented at the Royal Academy of Arts in London from July to October 2019. The exhibition is the first comprehensive overview of Schjerfbeck’s work in the UK. After London, the exhibition will move to the Ateneum as part of a more extensive display, curated by chief curator Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff.

Through My Travels I Found Myself describes how Helene became Helene. The exhibition focuses specifically on Schjerfbeck’s trips to Pont-Aven in northern France, Fiesole in Italy, and St Ives in England at the end of the 19th century. For example, Schjerfbeck painted one of her best-known works, The Convalescent (1888), in St Ives. What was the significance of the artist’s travels to her work – and how was she inspired by what she saw? The exhibits also include works that have not previously been seen in Finland.

Helene Schjerfbeck was inspired in particular by foreign art. Her idols included, for example, El Greco (1541–1614), Paul Cézanne (1839–1903) and Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890). Schjerfbeck’s work was also influenced by the world of fashion magazines of the 1920s.