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Amélie Lundahl: The Garden Girl, 1885


The Garden Girl was painted in Brittany, France. Amélie Lundahl had studied in Paris, but like many of her fellow-artists also spent many summers on the French coast, painting local landscapes and people. Those years in France between 1877 and 1885, and especially her time in Brittany, were a fruitful period in her artistic development. The Garden Girl is an example of the realistic plein air painting which was a popular trend at the time. To capture the real feeling of the moment Lundahl painted the work outside in the natural setting, rather than in the studio.

The painting has been newly restored. Over the years the varnish had turned yellowish, distorting the original colour scheme and reducing the sense of depth. In the conservation process the old layer of varnish was removed, allowing the work's delicate colours to come into their own. (photo 1)

The frame is typical of those used on works shown in the Paris Salons in the late 19th century. The ornamental surround, which was coming loose in places, has now been cleaned and rebuilt to make it stronger. The surface has been cleaned and missing parts of the ornamentation replaced, while the whole frame has been regilded and repainted to give it a more uniform look. (photos 2 and 3)