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Albert Edelfelt: From St. Cloud Park, 1905

 

Edelfelt’s From St. Cloud Park is one of his last paintings. He worked on it in Paris at the end of June 1905, and he died on 18 August in Porvoo. Edelfelt had an interest in parks throughout his career, but particularly in his later years made a great many sketches of them.

Parks were among the favourite subjects of 18th-century Rococo painting. Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a Rococo artist Edelfelt admired greatly, had done a series of washes depicting the St Cloud Park, and Edelfelt’s interest in parks commingled with his empathetic respect for historical periods and the past. In a letter to his son, Erik, on 26 June 1905, he praised the St Cloud Park: “Nowhere else on Earth can you find such trees as here! And then there are the great memories of the past!”