Gothic Modern

This international exhibition presents modern art from the 19th and 20th centuries that is inspired by European medieval and Northern Renaissance art. The themes of the diverse exhibition include death and rituals, but also sexuality and enlightenment.

  • 4.10.2024–26.1.2025
Edvard Munch: By the Death-Bed (1896). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Sihtola collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Aleks Talve.

Rewriting the history of modern art

A long research project has, for the first time, explored how artists of the modern era became interested in medieval art. The exhibition rewrites the history of modern art. Featured artists include Arnold Böcklin, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Theodor Kittelsen, Käthe Kollwitz, Edvard Munch, Hugo Simberg, Helene Schjerfbeck and Marianne Stokes. In addition to paintings and prints, the exhibition includes objects, sculptures and furniture.

The partners of the international exhibition are the National Museum of Art in Oslo and the Albertina museum in Vienna, which are the two venues where the exhibition will be shown after its run at the Ateneum. The exhibition is curated by the chief curator of exhibitions at the Ateneum, Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff (who will be director of the Ateneum from 1 January 2024), Vibeke Waallann Hansen from the National Museum of Art, and the director of the Alte Nationalgalerie, Ralph Gleis. A guest curator for the exhibition is Professor Juliet Simpson from Coventry University.

Artworks at the exhibition