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The beloved Queen Bianca stemmed from Albert Edelfelt's longstanding dream of illustrating Finnish history. History painting was long considered the most esteemed artistic genre, and leading figures in the Finnish art world were encouraging up-and-coming artists to take on historical subjects. This work is based on a tale by Zacharias Topelius. The painting depicts a historical person, Queen Bianca, who was the spouse of Swedish King Magnus Eriksson and who arranged a marriage between her son Haakon (here sitting on her lap) and Princess Margareta of Denmark. This resulted in a union between Sweden and Denmark that lasted from 1397 to 1453. While bouncing her son on her knee, Queen Bianca sings to him of these plans. The painting was featured at the Paris Salon in 1877, and subsequently copied in numerous French art publications. The enduring appeal of the work undoubtedly lies in the maternal love it conveys, a subject that awakened the public's interest amidst all the war and battle-themed paintings on display.

Details

  • Title: Queen Bianca
  • Creator: Albert Edelfelt
  • Date Created: 1877
  • Physical Dimensions: w75.5 x h96.5 cm
  • Inventory number: A II 1405
  • Dimensions: 96.5 x 75.5 cm
  • Collection: Hjalmar Linder Donation
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Ateneum Art Museum, Hjalmar Linder Donation
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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