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The Albert Edelfelt archive materials

Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) was an artist whose national and international success paved way for the golden age of Finnish artists at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century He studied in Antwerp and Paris, and continued his work in the French capital and other parts of Europe. This enabled him to develop a network which consisted of not only Finnish and Nordic but European and American artistic circles, as well influential political and social figures connected with these circles. Due to his position and contacts, he was able influence Finnish interests in the context of Russian rule at the turn of the 20th century. The letters left by Albert Edelfelt show how influential his art was but that he participated in the national and international cultural circles and the social and political affairs of his time.

Since 2014, Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland has published, in cooperation with the National Gallery, a digital letter and art publication Albert Edelfelts brev (in Swedish). It is freely available through open access. The publication includes all the letters Albert Edelfelt wrote to his mother Alexandra Edelfelt. Selections from the letter collection have previously been published in Swedish and Finnish, but it has never been published in its entirety. 1310 letters (approximately 7000 pages) cover Edelfelt’s entire adulthood, and their facsimiles can be found in the publication and in Finna. The content of the publication has been linked to images and information about Edelfelt’s art, as well as persons, places and topics. These links enable researchers and those interested in the subject to easily find the information the letters contain about certain works of art, persons, places or topics. The web publication of Albert Edelfelt's letters received the State Award for Public Information in 2016.