Helene Schjerfbeck’s still life study, "Lemons in a Bowl" is believed to have been completed in 1944, shortly after the artist moved to Sweden due to her failing health. Schjerfbeck died in 1946. She has since been considered one of Finland's most significant early modern artists.
The Reitz Foundation purchased the painting at a Sotheby’s auction late last year for 600,000 euros. The total cost of acquiring the painting reached some 750,000 euros after adding the cost of insurance, transportation and other fees. Following the deal the new owners re-framed the work to bring the style more in line with the subject and the foundation museum.
According to the Foundation visitor numbers to the museum began to increase shortly after the purchase of the painting was announced last year. Now that the Schjerfbeck painting is about to go on display, the Foundation is bracing for a large turnout.
The organisation is calling on members of the public to consider putting off their visit to see Lemons for a few weeks. The Lauri and Lasse Reitz Foundation is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm. It is a small home museum, located in a flat in the Töölö neighbourhood.