The €2 special coin 2012 "Helene Schjerfbeck", proof

Schjerfbeck once said: "One should paint with one's antennae, not with brushes and fingers." This describes her intuitive artistic work very well. The sensitive paintings of Schjerfbeck, concentrating on human subjects, are universally relevant.

In 2012, 150 years will have passed from the birth of this artist that ranks among our national treasures. Schjerfbeck boldly moved towards a modern artistic language during her career, and the commemorative coin struck in her honour reminds us of the importance of forging one's own path. The painting chosen for the coin's motive is one of a long series of self-portraits in which the artist depicts her aging self with honesty and emotion. The coin is designed by sculptor Erja Tielinen.

The coin depicts one view of Schjerfbeck's long series of self-portraits in which she approaches her own ageing with frankness and feeling. The work is particularly suited to the motif of this commemorative coin since the coin's three-dimensional surface and sculpturally-drawn lines are a fine way to create an impression of Schjerfbeck's work. Using skilful coin technology, the modern image concentrates on the essential features of the face, just as Schjerbeck herself did in paintings from her very last years. The obverse side of the coin was designed by sculptress Erja Tielinen.

Long and productive career

One of the most important Nordic artists, Helene Schjerfbeck's career ranged from French-inspired realism to simplified works analysing the essence of phenomena. A child prodigy of her time, Schjerfbeck started art studies at a young age and studied outside Finland on numerous occasions. Past decades have seen a rise in prices paid for Schjerfbeck's works. Schjerfbeck's painting Dancing Shoes (1882) was sold in 2008 for almost €3.9 million, which was a record price for a Finnish work of art.

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Nominal value2 €
MetalCuNi25, CuZn20Ni5/Ni/CuZn20Ni5
Diameter25,75 mm
Weight8,5 g
Year stamp2012
MintageProof 13 000, unc 1 987 000
DesignerErja Tielinen
Issue date5.10.2012

Press photo

Royalty-free images, Mint of Finland must be quoted as source.

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