Albert Edelfelt, “Duke Karl Insulting the Corpse of Klaus Fleming”, 1878. Oil on canvas. Ateneum Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Photography archive. Photo by Hannu Aaltonen.
Art replication project is approved by National Gallery of Finland, the owner of the original work, and Turku Castle where replication takes place in-situ. The reason for choosing this particular work for replication is based on its essential role in building Finnish society and cultural heritage. Moreover vital place this work holds in the creation of Fennomen movement and the epoch of Finnish Golden Era in art and society. Due to its values and role in building of the national identity and with an agreement by my supervisors, I have decided to make time-reverse replica which will represent the work in its state during the first public appearance at Paris Salon in 1878.
Replication organized by museum or other cultural establishment starts with many forms of preparations and studies of the artist’s manner along with technical analyses of the original work. My study was concentrated on the records and visual revision of the original. The copyright laws and questions of authenticity by the museum require that the size of copies and replicas need to be different from the original. Often replicas are made in smaller dimension due to the final purposes and function of made replica, e.g. replica as a substitute of the original for international exhibition. In our project replica is primed bigger. The size of the original painting is 157 x 202 cm while our replica is 160 x 210 cm fundamentally with intend to keep the scene and figures in their concrete range.
In preparation method of the stretcher, canvas and coating layers I have followed notations as the original work was made. I started with gathering authentic material regarding 19th century academic practice in Paris (France) to which this work belongs.
When the canvas was stretched and layers of coating were applied, the next step was to trace the image to the canvas. The projection of the image and outline-drawing was made at University of Turku (Art History Department) with high resolution imagery. Regarding the need for precision due to the visual differences between the painting and its photograph, the tracing was continued in Turku Castle next to the original work.
Selected images represent some of the stages of replication process.