Helmi Dagmar Juvonen
Tempera on paper
19 5/8 x 29 3/8 in. (49.85 x 74.61 cm)
Museum Purchase, 1976.010
This is an illustrative painting of a carnival. The background is painted a solid green except for a strip of sky blue at the top. White line dashes create a circle on the right side of the painting and white botanical symbols are fitted in throughout the composition. The composition is very flat—there’s no real depth and the paint is smooth. It’s rendered without much detail, despite it being a very intricate subject. People dressed in colorful clothing with small children fill the composition. On the right side, a circle of what might be donkeys are being ridden clockwise by children. This procession is interrupted midway with a clown in a wagon being pulled by a white goat. On the left side, a brown rectangular structure holds a carnival game. There’s a banner of yellow, orange, and red pendants across the top and two rows of orange catlike faces painted on white rectangles lined up behind the game attendant, who stands ready at the counter. Toys, presumably the prizes, are hung on either side of the game structure. The busy scene appears to be jovial with folks holding hands, someone playing a guitar, and balloons and ice cream cones in tow; however, nearly everyone in the crowd has a single, flat red line for a mouth and two beady eyes, making their expressions ambivalent, if not disappointed.