A new book on Hugo Simberg in the Artists of the Ateneum book series

The second book in the Artists of the Ateneum series focuses on Hugo Simberg (1873–1917). The book is written by the art historian Marja Lahelma, PhD. The richly illustrated book sheds new light on the life of this fascinating artist. The book will be published in Finnish, Swedish and English, and will be available from 23 August.

The Artists of the Ateneum book series tells the stories of classic Finnish artists: what kind of world they grew up in, what inspired them, and what kinds of works they made and why. The authors include some of the best experts in the field, and, in inviting their contributions, we are also supporting new research”, says the museum director, Susanna Pettersson.

The author of the book, the art historian Marja Lahelma, guides her readers on a journey through Hugo Simberg’s life and work, and contributes new information to the body of research on the artist, for example, by linking Simberg’s art to the history of European art.

Hugo Simberg is one of the key artists of Finnish symbolism. His works feature a gallery of fantasy characters, including angels, devils and Death, depicted in an inimitable fashion. In addition to fantasy subjects, Simberg’s wide-ranging oeuvre includes portraits and landscapes, which also feature, as an undertone, the artist’s quest to uncover another world beyond reality. The Ateneum Art Museum, which is part of the Finnish National Gallery, holds more than 800 works by Hugo Simberg, the most well-known of which are Frost (1895), The Wounded Angel (1903) and Towards the Evening (1913).

The Artists of the Ateneum series sheds new light on some of the classics of Finnish art. The history of 19th-century Finnish art includes emotionally evocative landscapes, powerful folklife depictions, historical paintings and portraits. Imagery from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, also features prominently. At the turn of the 20th century, the focus shifts to Paris and new forms of expression. Art knows no geographical boundaries. The decades roll on, and new movements bring energy and vision into art, from modernism to political or pop art.

The first book in the series, about Helene Schjerfbeck, was published in September 2016. The next book, about Akseli Gallen-Kallela, will be published in the autumn of 2018. A new book in the series will be published each year. The graphic design of the book series is by Minna Luoma.

The book will be available from 23 August 2017 from the museum shop at the Ateneum or the online shop at www.museoshop.fi. The normal price for the book will be €29. Both of the previously published books in the Artists of the Ateneum series will, from 23 August to 24 September 2017, be on sale for €25.

Size: 235 mm x 160 mm, 100 pages, paperback. Publisher: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki

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