Berndt Lindholm (Finnish, 1841-1914)
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Berndt Lindholm (Finnish, 1841-1914)

Montmartre, Paris

Berndt Lindholm (Finnish, 1841-1914)
Montmartre, Paris
signed and dated 'Lindholm, Paris-Montmartre, mai 1875' (lower left)
oil on canvas
127/8 x 183/8 in. (32.5 x 46.5 cm.)
Painted in 1875
Ivar Hörhammer, Helsinki (1920s).
Gösta Stenman, Helsinki, by whom acquired from the above.
Ernst Willberg, Helsinki, (by 1946).
Acquired by the present owner in the 1960s.
S. Schauman, '60 Years of Finnish Art', Svenska Pressen, 16 Feb. 1924.
L. Wennewirta, Finlands konst, 1926, p. 359.
N. G. Hahl, Samling Gösta Stenman, Helsingfors, 1932, no. 23, p. 56 (illustrated, p. 57).
Helsinki, Ateneum, The Artists' Association Jubilee Exhibition, 1924, no. 261.
Helsinki, The Finnish Artists' Union 100 Year Jubilee Exhibition, 1946, no. 199.
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Lot Essay

In 1995 the Turku Art Museum held the largest ever exhibition of the work of Berndt Lindholm, so long favoured by the public for his 'elegant' renderings of the Nordic forest and his depictions of coastal scenes from Bohuslän on the West coast of Sweden. Fresh light was then shed over Lindholm's lesser known 'radicalist' period of his youth in Paris in 1868-1870 and 1873-1875.

The present painting of Montmartre, Paris was executed towards the end of Lindholm's second sojourn in Paris. He returned to Finland at the beginning of 1876 to prepare an extensive exhibition which opened in the summer of the same year. He exhibited some 60 pictures from his student years in Paris which were subsequently sold at auction. The present work may well have been one of them.

Disappointed with the sombre stuffiness of the Dusseldorf school, Lindholm was the first of the Nordic artists to leave Dusseldorf for Paris in search of the novelty and freshness of plein-air painting. As such, argues Aimo Reitala, Lindholm should be seen as a pioneer of Finnish outdoor painting before the emergence of Albert Edelfelt (exh. cat. Berndt Lindholm, Turku Art Museum, 1995). Montmartre, Paris is a fresh example of plein-air painting that demonstrates Lindholm's mastery of the lessons and principles he had encountered during his stay in Paris.

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