Albert Edelfelt: Pariisin Luxembourgin puistossa, 1887. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Antell. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen
Albert Edelfelt: The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, 1887. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, coll. Antell. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

The Ateneum presents: an Edelfelt exhibition in Paris and a Gallen-Kallela exhibition in Moscow

Two of the best-known artists of the golden age of Finnish art will be presented in international exhibitions produced by the Ateneum Art Museum in 2022. An exhibition of works by Albert Edelfelt will be shown at the Petit Palais in Paris, from 10 March to 10 July 2022. An exhibition of works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela will be shown at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, from 15 April to 14 August 2022.

“We are delighted to have retrospective exhibitions of works by Albert Edelfelt and Akseli Gallen-Kallela staged at major museums in two of the world’s leading art cities. The realisation of these exhibitions is the result of a long collaboration: both the Petit Palais and the State Tretyakov Gallery have been our partners for many exhibitions shown at the Ateneum in recent years. We are working resolutely to make Finnish artists known abroad. One earlier example of this effort is the Helene Schjerfbeck exhibition, which was shown at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2019”, says the director of the Ateneum Art Museum, Marja Sakari.

The realisation of these international touring exhibitions has been supported by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

Albert Edelfelt, Petit Palais, Paris, 10 March–10 July 2022

The retrospective of works by Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) continues the series of exhibitions of Nordic artists shown at the Petit Palais. This is the first solo exhibition of works by Albert Edelfelt in Paris and it introduces the Finnish artist to a French audience. The exhibition examines Edelfelt’s entire career and, in particular, his role as an international influencer. The artist was a trailblazer who paved the way for later Finnish artists to gain a foothold in Paris. Edelfelt also played a major role in the World Fairs held in Paris in 1889 and 1900, both as an artist and a spokesperson.

The exhibition features works from the collections of the Finnish National Gallery/Ateneum Art Museum, and the collections of French and Nordic museums. Exhibits also include works from other public and private collections in Finland and abroad. A total of approximately 110 works will be on display. The works travelling to France for the exhibition include Queen Bianca (1877), Conveying the Child’s Coffin (A Child’s Funeral) (1879), Boys Playing on the Shore (1884), The Luxembourg Gardens, Paris (1887), and Women Outside the Church at Ruokolahti (1887).

The curators of the exhibition are Anne-Maria Pennonen and Hanne Selkokari for the Ateneum, and Anne-Charlotte Cathelineau for the Petit Palais.

Visit the website of the Petit Palais (in French)

Albert Edelfelt: Leikkiviä poikia rannalla, 1884. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Ahlström. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Hannu Aaltonen
Albert Edelfelt: Boys Playing on the Shore, 1884. Ateneum Art Museum, coll. Ahlström. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 15 April–14 August 2022

The retrospective of works by Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931) is the first exhibition of the artist’s entire oeuvre to be shown in Russia. The exhibition covers the entire arc of Gallen-Kallela’s career, from naturalism to symbolism, from iconic landscape paintings to large Kalevala-themed works, and the transition to a synthesist painting style.

Gallen-Kallela was an open-minded experimenter and seeker, who was one of the first artists in Finland to develop, for example, printmaking techniques. One of the key themes of the exhibition is Gallen-Kallela’s international networks and travels, which inspired him and gave his art a new direction. During his time in Africa, a change that had been developing for a few years bloomed into colourful expressionism. These works form a spectacular whole to be displayed at the State Tretyakov Gallery. Gallen-Kallela’s connections with both European and Russian artists are one of the focus areas of the exhibition.

The works travelling to Russia for the exhibition, which are part of the Finnish National Gallery/Ateneum Art Museum collections, include Aino Myth, Triptych (1891), Kullervo Cursing (1899), Lemminkäinen’s Mother (1897), and Boy with a Crow (1884). The exhibition also features the artist’s central works from other significant Finnish collections and from private individuals. A total of approximately 120 works will be on display.

The curators of the exhibition are the senior researcher at the Ateneum, Anu Utriainen, and the State Tretyakov Gallery curator Tatiana Karpova, a specialist in European art. The directors of the Ateneum Art Museum and the State Tretyakov Gallery, Marja Sakari and Zelfira Tregulova, respectively, and the chief curator at the Ateneum, Timo Huusko, have also contributed to content planning.

Visit the website of the State Tretyakov Gallery (in Russian)

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lemminkäisen äiti, 1897. Kansallisgalleria / Ateneumin taidemuseo, kok. Antell. Kuva: Kansallisgalleria / Jouko Könönen
Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lemminkäinen’s Mother, 1897. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, coll. Antell. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jouko Könönen

The works going on tour no longer on display at the Ateneum

The works mentioned in this text are being prepared to be loaned out, which is why they have been removed from the Stories of Finnish Art collections exhibition. This is an opportune time for the two exhibitions to go ahead, as the Ateneum will be closed to the public for about eight months, as of 28 March 2022, due to ventilation renovations. After the renovation, in early 2023, the Ateneum will open a completely new collection exhibition, which is the earliest that these works will be on display again.

To explore the works in the Ateneum’s collections online: