Maria (1906). Helene Schjerfbeck (Finnish, 1862-1946). Oil on canvas. From about 1902 Schjerfbeck, in poor health, adopted a solitary life, developing a much more simplified style. Her work was dominated by domestic scenes, featuring women and children engaged in reading or embroidery. As details gradually disappeared from her paintings, they gained increasing depth, approaching an abstract technique which was far ahead of her time.