Christ and Mary Magdalene, a Finnish Legend

Albert Edelfelt1890

Ateneum Art Museum

Ateneum Art Museum
Helsinki, Finland

Aspects of Naturalism were evident in Albert Edelfelt's work throughout much of his life, even when working with historical and religious themes. In Europe, the religious genre came under the humanizing influence of Ernest Renan's book The Life of Jesus published in 1863. Edelfelt's unconventional Christ and Mary Magdalene, a Finnish Legend, set on the forested shoreline of a Finnish lake, shows Jesus dressed in peasant shoes plaited from strips of birch-bark, confronted by a pleading Magdalene in ethnic dress. Most consistently, however, religiosity permeated rural genre works, underscoring the piety of the indigenous peoples, as artists turned increasingly to depicting the supposed authenticity of the lives of the common folk.


  • Title: Christ and Mary Magdalene, a Finnish Legend
  • Creator: Albert Edelfelt
  • Creator Lifespan: 1854/1905
  • Creator Nationality: Finnish
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Creator Death Place: Porvoon mlk
  • Creator Birth Place: Porvoon mlk
  • Date Created: 1890
  • Physical Dimensions: w152 x h216 cm
  • Inventory number: A I 501
  • Dimensions: 216 x 152 cm
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Ateneum Art Museum, http://www.fng.fi/informationandresearch/photographicservice
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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