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Finnish Symbolism / Painting 1890-1910

2003-11-09 to 2004-01-25

Dynamism, quality and creative ideas characterise Finnish painting around the turn of the last century. With the exhibition Finnish Symbolism / Painting 1890–1910, Bildmuseet presents one of the most significant movements in the history of Finnish art and culture. A selection of works borrowed from prominent collections at Finnish and Swedish museums reflects an era that marked a turning point for Finnish-speaking culture and self-esteem.

Symbolism was a multifaceted movement that took many different forms of expression: from patriotic mythology with a national romantic foundation, as in the work of Akseli Gallen-Kallela, to melancholic worship of beauty and inward-looking mysticism, as depicted by Ellen Thesleff. What the Finnish symbolists had in common was an interest in the inner world of humankind, a departure from realism and an emphasis on connections between the arts – especially those between art, literature and music.

The exhibition includes key works by fifteen artists from the period 1890–1910. Internationally renowned names such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Helene Schjerfbeck and Hugo Simberg are shown alongside lesser-known colleagues such as Einar Ilmoni, Juho Mäkela and Vilho Sjöström.

The exhibition showcases almost 30 paintings on loan from Ateneum in Helsinki, the Ostrobothnian Museum in Vaasa and Stockholm’s National Museum.

Paintings by:

Väinö Blomstedt (1871-1947)
Magnus Enckell (1870-1925)
Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931)
Pekka Halonen (1865-1933)
Einar Ilmoni (1880-1946)
Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937)
Juho Mäkelä (1885-1943)
Juho Rissanen (1873-1950)
Jalmari Ruokokoski (1886-1936)
Tyko Sallinen (1859-1955)
Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946)
Hugo Simberg (1873-1917)
Vilho Sjöström (1873-1944)
Ellen Thesleff (1869-1954)
Verner Thomé (1878-1953)