International studio — 81.1925

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https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/international_studio81/0029
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mceRnACioriAL

A FINNISH ^NATIONAL ART

5candinavian art has The Rj/a, CL hand-knotted of the native Finns to suc-
long been appreciated tapes try or rug, has been ceed in gaining the stamp of
by most of the world. proc[uced in Finland for worId recognition upon in-

However, the artistic at- * ffl centuries JgTr FTVt* iT"

tamments of the Finns, who Akseli Oalkn-Kallela, born

are culturally related to the EUGENE VAN 6LEEF in l865- His first works
Scandinavians, are much portrayed the life of the

less familiar, more especially to the people of more remote parts of Finland and also gave con-
America. Yet they have shown a skill which is creteness to many of the word pictures in the
decidedly worth study. Kalevala. Eero Jarnefelt (born 1863) represents

The art galleries in most modern countries the third outstanding artist who has successfully
show a variety of transferred to canvas

works representing |________....._ ,.: | an accurate record of

many periods and riu- B thc landscape, the ag-

merous schools. One "" "1 ricultural processes

usually observes di- and rural home hie oi

■k oh <*■ ■

versity rather than r*~"*ia rmianci.

unity displayed in the . j WmfrtmgBm\ S5r;B Remarkable as are

subjects. Not so in I L-g-1 |B some of the artistic

the art institutions of tB Mgl f^fM conceptions adorning

Finland, for these con- BL*Jf »S^*-c^^Jr^^ LJIBI tIle waIIs of Finnish

tain primarily the .'^M^JMkJm^ I art museums, one

paintings and sketches ■ , f^fv MWL. emerges from the gal-

produced by artists * jijfl |: &2 j Ieries somewhat de-

who are now resident Htaalf^I S B Passed. Few cheerful

in the country or have Mf\T|f"l scenes are depicted,

lived in Finland in re- 9 '/K^jHI P*4 ' I The struggle for exist-

cent times. There is iB^^Or , :n, y vr jrjhi '•' B ence against great

variation in technique, SkJU^' a^iD^ odds constitutes the

and evidence of the principal motif. The

influences of French B .|| 1 •* ' .'■ 118 B " §^>'%B burning of the forests

and German schools. '; /' i ■^■f>MmimJe^^'.JL B as a Process of land

Nothing, however, is H '^ .^^^■'^*,*wa B clearing, the shepherd

more obvious than i B W alone in the wil-

that the artists must jWWff.X,........ 1" T"'~^ ^iH derness, a rural burial

have lived in Finland scene, a fisherman's

a long- time to have liHliiiM mm ilHIIlBlUJi ■ nil>W<"*itfTffiSWfnrMnWjWWBBB lowly hut upon a lake

conceived and exe- Wf^^^^^^^^^^ or seashore, or the

cuted the exhibits. I----^ fisherman sailing upon

Thev strikinalv depict the purely geometric design characterizes the storm-tossed sea un-

J. licy SLUKJIlgiy UCpiLL earliest finnish ryas

the Finnish land- Reproduced by permission of Calerie Horhammer, Hetsingfors Certain whether he will

scapes, Finnish life in make shore, these and

all its reality and Finnish literature with its highly many others paralleling them in principle, empha-

imaginative descriptions. size not only the response of the people to their

The early art of Finland is largely Swedish in natural environment but the fact that the environ-

character. It consists mostly of mural decorations ment is dominant. It reacts upon the artists them-

and frescoes upon the walls or ceilings of the selves to the extent of practically eliminating the

churches. No early artist stands out as pre- treatment of subjects quite foreign to their

eminent. Not until recently has there been a locality. The Finns are not copyists. Originality

development of noted men in this field of endeavor, characterizes their presentations. The men cited

The first of these artists, Albert Edelfelt (1854- above studied in French or German schools or

1905), who portrayed Finnish life with such skill both, but made little or no use of subjects sug-

and virility, was of Swedish ancestry. The earliest gested by their extra-territorial experiences.

april I925

twenty-nine
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