The Door, Helene Schjerfbeck, 19??, Finnish National Gallery

Schjerfbeck painted The Door (Old Monastery Hall) in 1884 at Trémalo chapel in Pont-Aven, during her second visit to Brittany. It seems an ultra-simplified work, but the composition is very carefully worked out. In this work the ostensible subject practically disappears. What fascinates the viewer is the closed door and the light escaping round it. The painting does not aim to picture reality and create an illusion of space, but rather to create a new, simplified means of expression.