Helene Schjerfbeck (1862 - 1946) was a Finnish painter. Most widely known for her realist works and self-portraits, and less well known for her landscapes and still lifes. Throughout her long life, her work changed dramatically. Her work starts with a dazzlingly skilled, somewhat melancholic version of late-19th-century academic realism…it ends with distilled, nearly abstract images in which pure paint and cryptic description are held in perfect balance.(Roberta Smith, New York Times).