Ferdinand von Wright ( 1822 - 1906 )

A Golden Eagle - study

A Golden Eagle - study

oil and pencil on canvas
11 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (28.5 x 23.5 cm.)
signed with initials on reverse

Fredrika Fabritius (1818-1902), the artist’s sister.

A.Leikola, J.Lokki et al., Bróderna von Wrights fáglar, 1989, p.139, illus. in colour

Fifteen years ago we were introduced to the rarefied subject of Finnish ornithological art when we had - all too briefly, in hindsight - a haunting picture of a ural owl by Ferdinand von Wright. He and his four brothers were brought up in a remote region in central Finland, their forebears having moved there from Yorkshire in England in the previous century. Three of them, Magnus, Wilhelm and Ferdinand became noted artists, known principally for birds but also for landscapes and other illustration work. They were largely self-taught, and, in their backwoods existence, parallels might inevitably be drawn with their contemporary working far away in more tropical latitudes, the great John James Audubon.

Ferdinand’s magnificent Fighting Capercailies (1886) hangs today in the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, and is nothing less than an icon of Finnish art. In the same national collection hangs his Golden Eagle by a Lake (1897, oil on canvas, 31 x 40 in.), for which this is a study.

Ferdinand von Wright