It took several weeks to paint
Tove Jansson’s biography mentions that she arrived in Teuva to begin working on the altarpiece in late May of 1953. Prior to this, she had spent the entire spring planning and preparing her work, and had visited the church in the company of the architect.
Persons who were around at the time have varying memories as to when the painting was done and how long the work took. Some remember that it was cold then, some remember the painting as having taken place in the fall. However, several comments agree in that the work lasted for several weeks, possibly even a month.
In Teuva, Tove Jansson resided initially at the vicarage which was located where Teak (Teuva Adult Education Centre) is today. At some point, she moved to Korhonen’s Boarding House where her room is mentioned as having been number 2, near the riverside. The boarding house was located on Asematie, several hundred meters from the church.
Jansson is said to have preferred to paint in private, and she is known to have driven curious onlookers out of the church. In the evenings, she also devoted herself to writing, at the time she was working on the Muumintroll book Moominsummer Madness.
In many books, 1954 is said to be the year the Teuva altarpiece was finished. However, the dedication ceremony for the church, at which the altarpiece was on display, was held already in late November of 1953. It is not clear whether some finishing touches may have been made to the altarpiece in 1954.