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Finlandia Club Invitation
In Public



Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1867-1931): Finland’s Great National Romantic Artist

The Finlandia Club of Nova Scotia invites all members, and others interested in art, to a talk and slide show about the life and work of Gallen-Kallela. Slides of many of his beautiful paintings will be shown. Details at the end of this article.

The great Finnish artist, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, was born in 1865, the same year as Sibelius. Like Sibelius, he was a romantic nationalist at a time that Finland was establishing its national identity through art, literature, music and architecture. Gallen-Kallela’s output was prolific as he portrayed ordinary Finnish country people, the Finnish wilderness and, especially, the folklore. He was greatly influenced by the Finnish national epic,

the Kalevala, based on oral folklore in the form of poetry and song that was still very much alive in the 1830s amongst the Karelians in the area of Russia between Finland and the White Sea as well as in adjacent parts of Finland. In fact, he and his fellow artist and great friend, the Swedish Count, Louis Sparre, who lived in Finland for nearly twenty years, are considered the founders of Karelianism which was the basis of the distinctively Finnish version of the National Romanticism prevalent at that time throughout Scandinavia and elsewhere.

Gallen-Kallela’s work included wood-cut graphics, engravings, stained glass, fabric design and posters but he was primarily a painter. His largest works were several frescoes such as those for the Finnish Pavilion at the 1900 Paris World Exhibition and on the ceiling of the rotunda at the Helsinki National Museum entrance.

Gallen-Kallela also made painting trips to East Africa where he stayed for a year and half, and he later moved to the USA for two years where he exhibited his art at the Chicago Art Institute before taking it on tour around the US and then living and painting in New Mexico among the Pueblo Indians.

In recent years, Gallen-Kallela’s art has achieved international status with several of his paintings sold for record prices outside of Scandinavia. The London Times wrote in 2012,
“Now, he is being mentioned in the same breath as Van Gogh, Gauguin and Kandinsky”.

The presentation will take place on Saturday, 14 April at 2pm. at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Hall, 2096 Windsor St, Halifax, at the corner of Allan&Windsor St. (Wheelchair accessible)

Coffee and light refreshments will be offered after the presentation. Free will donations are accepted for the hall rental.

by: Lis Banfield topic: Public Posted: 27-Mar-18 Tue