Towards the end of the 1870s, Albert Edelfelt became an advocate of plein-air realism. He decided that his next work for the Paris Salon had to be painted completely from nature. He created this painting at Haikko near Porvoo. Conveying a Child's Coffin can be considered the first exhibited Finnish painting to have been painted exclusively outdoors. At the 1880 Salon, the painting was awarded a 3rd class medal, the first time a Finnish artist received such an honour. French critics particularly lauded the fact that the painting did not come over as sentimental; instead it displays a serenity and nobility in accepting the inevitability of the cycle of life. While it is realistic in style, it does not seek to show the coarseness of the common people or to avoid any sense of beauty.