Girls Reading (1907). Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish, 1862-1946). Watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper. Suomen Kansallisgalleria.
From about 1902 Schjerfbeck’s delicate health began to deteriorate; she adopted a solitary life living with her mother at Hyvinkaa, almost forgotten, developing a much more simplified style. During this early period alone, her work was dominated by domestic scenes, featuring women and children engaged in reading or embroidery.