Explore the world of art with Skissi the Cat
Sometimes in the morning, you can hear faint purring in the Ateneum corridors. Skissi the Cat has arrived at the museum! The gallery guard believes that Skissi is a descendant of one of the occupants of artist Ville Vallgren’s house for cats. The famous sculptor did indeed build a small, three-storey house for neighbourhood cats in the back yard of his Paris home. This happened more than a hundred years ago.
Start the tour from the main gallery (Gallery 13 on the second floor). On your way up, admire the decorative architecture and Stone Age fossils embedded in the limestone stairs. Grab a tour leaflet at Ticket Sales on the first floor.
Gallery 13 • Ville Vallgren: ECHO, 1887
First, let’s look around this large gallery.
Do you see a marble sculpture in the middle of the gallery?
Listen to the sounds of the environment, just like the child in the work of art.
What do you hear? Do you hear an echo?
Sculptor Ville Vallgren carved
Echo out of marble over 100 years ago.
Vallgren was fond of cats;
at his home in Paris, he even built
a small block of flats for cats! Can you believe it?
Gallery 13 • Hugo Simberg: THE WOUNDED ANGEL, 1903
Children are portrayed in many works in the main gallery.
Here, the children are not so little any more.
One of them has wings.
What has happened?
Where are the children going?
Gallery 16 • Akseli Gallen-Kallela: KULLERVO CURSING, 1899
The young man looks furious.
The Kalevala story tells how
an evil woman baked a stone into a loaf of bread,
causing Kullervo’s beloved knife to break.
How did Kullervo feel?
Do you see the bread in the painting? How about animals?
A dog is said to be a human’s best friend,
but in my opinion, a cat can be, too!
How do you look when you feel like Kullervo?
Gallery 17 • Albert Edelfelt: THE LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, PARIS, 1887
A lot is going on in this large painting.
These children were playing in Paris a long time ago.
Are the children playing anything familiar?
What is the weather like? Is it warm or chilly?
If you were in this sunny park,
what would you do?
Gallery 6 • Hugo Simberg: SELF-PORTRAIT, 1907
Look how many pictures of artists there are on the walls!
One has a white work jacket, a cap
and a handsome beard. He is Hugo Simberg.
Take a look at other artists in this gallery.
Do you see any artist tools in these paintings?
Gallery 9 • Tove Jansson: MYSTERIOUS LANDSCAPE, 1930
This painting has an exciting atmosphere.
Look closely – what do you see
in the dark night landscape?
Strange plants? A city?
A friend of mine is creeping there
– another cat!
Gallery 12 • Helene Schjerfbeck: SELF-PORTRAIT, 1912
Expressions tell how people
– and cats – feel.
In your opinion, what is the person’s expression like in this painting?
Take a look at the other works in this gallery and
imitate their expressions. How do you feel?