Pond Water Crowfoot, 1895
Oil on canvas, 38 x 28 cm
Ateneum Art Museum, A IV 3648
Järnefelt's subjects from nature contain two extremes: the broad, sweeping, literally and metaphorically 'all-embracing' landscape and, by contrast, the small and delicate, studied in close-up.
In his detailed studies, he liked flowering plants and animals in or near water, for instance pond water crowfoot, marsh marigolds, grebes and frogs. These subjects seemed to carry a particular personal metaphorical value for him.
Järnefelt has been considered a confirmed Realist who never took to the Symbolist movement of the 1890s. He did, however, give very serious thought to both movements and his own relationship with them. As early as 1892, he painted a version of the pond water crowfoot where the water in the background was rendered in a Synthetist manner as a field of colour devoid of perspective. Meanwhile, the 1895 version of the pond water crowfoot highlights the 'temporal' elements of Realism: a sunlit moment, a ruffle of wind across the lake water and the pebbles on the lake bottom, fading from sight where the water is deeper.