Newly discovered Eero Järnefelt portrait of Sibelius

FOUND! A previously unknown portrait of Sibelius by Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937), Aino’s brother. The privately-owned artwork was discovered last week in conjunction with preparations for a 150th anniversary Järnefelt exhibition by the Järvenpää Art Museum near Helsinki. The lithograph has been examined and found to be authentic, and estimated to have been completed between 1906 and 1910, as reported by the Finnish national broadcaster, YLE.

Sibelius - New Jarnefelt Portrait 2013

Indeed it very much resembles Sibelius from around this period, perhaps after his throat operation.

Sibelius 1908a



The only thing is, his hair parting appears to be in a different place. In the Jarnefelt portrait, it is on the right side. But in the photos, his parting is on the left. Hmm.

Sibelius around 1908

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Leon is Singapore's resident champion of Jean Sibelius.

3 thoughts on “Newly discovered Eero Järnefelt portrait of Sibelius”

  1. As a printmaker, I think I have an answer to your observation about the hair part on the wrong side. The artist may have drawn the portrait from live or a photo directly onto the stone. When printed it is in reverse.

    I’ve been enjoying your well written and researched blog about Sibelius for a couple of months since discovering it.

  2. Good clarification, Marja-leena! I have done printmaking and that was what first came to mind. What particularly pleases me is to see a lithograph of Jean Sibelius, something uncommon, as most portraits I have seen of the composer are paintings or sketches. Printmaking is such a time-honored and exacting art medium that I find a certain respectful permanence in this portrait that gives it more value in my opinion as a portrait. This is really nice! Thank you for finding it, Leon!

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