“The soul shines from the eyes.”

19 Nov

Just for fun…

I found some interesting Finnish proverbs on Wikipedia.


“Myöhäistä itkeä kun on kakat housuissa.”

Literal Translation: “There is no use crying when the crap is already in your pants.”

English equivalent: “No use crying over spilt milk.”

“Saat viisaan nimen, jos et virka mitään.”

Literal Translation: “You will be named after a wise man, if you keep your mouth shut.”

English equivalent: “A silent man is a wise one.”

“Sauna on köyhän apteekki.”

Translation: “The sauna is a poor man’s pharmacy.”

“Silmistä sielu paistaa.”

Translation: “The soul shines from the eyes.”

Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946)

This last proverb reminds me of the Finnish painter, Helene Schjerfbeck. At age four, Schjerfbeck broke her hip.  As she was unable to attend school with her limp, Schjerfbeck spent many hours sketching and painting as a child. Though Schjerfbeck had a long albeit spotty career painting many subjects, she is perhaps best known for her intense self-portraits.

“Now that I so seldom have the strength to paint, I have started on a self-portrait. This way the model is always available, although it isn’t at all pleasant to see oneself.” – letter to a friend, 1921 (from arthistory.com)



Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish, 1862-1946). Self Portrait, 1912.
Oil on canvas. 43.5 x 42 cm (17 1/8 x 16 1/2 in.).
© Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki [credit]

Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish, 1862-1946). Self Portrait with Black Background, 1915.
Oil on canvas. 34 x 42 cm (13 3/8 x 16 1/2 in.). © Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki [credit]


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