Albert Edelfelt was born in Porvoo, Finland. His father Carl Albert was an architect. Edelfelt admired Johan Ludvig Runeberg who was a friend to the family. He studied in Antwerp (1873 - 1874), Paris (1874 - 1878) and St. Petersburg (1881 - 1882).
He married baroness (vapaaherratar) Ellan de la Chapellen in 1888 with who he had one child.