Helene Schjerfbeck (July 10, 1862 – January 23, 1946 was a Finnish painter. She is most widely known for her realist works and self-portraits, and less well known for her landscapes and still lifes. Throughout her long life, her work changed dramatically.
Dancing Shoes is one of Schjerfbeck’s most enduringly popular paintings. The subject was so popular that Schjerfbeck returned to the theme three times as well as executing a lithograph of it, the latter catapulting the painting to international fame. It depicts her cousin Esther Lupander. Esther had extremely long legs and for that reason the painting was nicknamed “The Grasshopper”. Executed in Realist style, the painting shows the clear influence of Schjerfbeck’s stay in Paris where she had expressed admiration for Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, and Mary Cassatt. It fetched £3,044,500 at a 2008 Sotheby’s London sale.