Finnish born artist from Helsingfors, Helsinki, who followed her fellow student friend Helene SCHJERFBECK to the St Ives Colony in 1887-1889. Previously they had both attended the Finska Konstreningen, and were amongst the first group of Finnish women painters to study in France.
She attended the Academie Julian in Paris and studied under Robert-Fleury. She and Helene had also painted in Pont Aven, France (1883-4). In St Ives Maria painted a study of youth and old age, Out in the World (1887). This was considered a major landmark in her career, presaging more symbolic work and regarded as her most important work. She is primarily known for portraiture, and Swanson [in] Gaze comments that 'Her portraits of the leading members of Finnish society, viewed as cultural documents of the 1890s and early 20th century, were often commissioned by academic institutions.' Her name is sometimes mis-spelled Wilk. (Wiik, pronounced Veek).
Painter in oils of portraits and genre
works and access
Works include: Portrait of a Lady (p309 Sparrow); Preparing to Leave Home (p313 Sparrow)
Access: Helsinki (portraits)
Finnish Art Society (1878 ff); PS; House of Nobility (Finland) 1885; Exposition Universelle, Paris (Bronze Medal, 1900); Ateneum (Helsinki) for Women Artists; Retrospective, at the Finnish Artists Exhibition Hall, Helsinki 1929
Benezit (Illus of signature)
Cross Shining Sands
Gaze (1997) Dictionary of Women Artists (large bibliography)
Hardie (2009) Artists/Newlyn & West Cornwall p353
Newton et al Painting at the Edge
W S Sparrow (1905) Women Painters of the World [plates as listed above]
Tovey (2009) St Ives/Social History
Whybrow (1894) St Ives