Anton Lindforss, Autumn (1941). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Hoving collection. Photo: Hannu Pakarinen

Among Forests and Lakes

National Nordic Museum, Seattle

The exhibition explores the way in which Finnish artists depict the landscapes of their native country and express the emotions they evoke.

Landscape Masterpieces from the Finnish National Gallery

The artists featured in the exhibition are H. Ahtela, Väinö Blomstedt, Fanny Churberg, Albert Edelfelt, Gabriel Engberg, Alfred William Finch, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Gunvor Grönvik, Pekka Halonen, Marja Helander, Werner Holmberg, Lea Ignatius, Eero Järnefelt, Aimo Kanerva, Anton Lindforss, Mauno Markkula, Hjalmar Munsterhjelm, Hugo Simberg, Torsten Wasastjerna and Victor Westerholm.

The works in the exhibition date from the 1850s to the present day. The works depict the Finnish southern coast, the archipelago, the fells of the north, and the Arctic Ocean. The earliest works date back to the time when Finland was the grand duchy of Russia, and there were no art academies in place. Indeed, many artists of the time travelled first to Düsseldorf and Munich, and later to Paris to study painting.

In keeping with the ideals of natural science and the nationalism of the era, the artists depicted the landscapes and people of their native country, and in this way contributed to the creation of the national identity. For this reason, landscape painting has, since its early days, been one of the significant art forms in Finnish art history. It played an important role in building the nation and its identity.

The exhibition is curated by the senior researcher Anu Utriainen, and the curator Hanne Selkokari, both of the Ateneum. The exhibition is divided into four themes: Seasons, Inside the Landscape, The Symbolist and Symbolic Landscape, and Northern Finland and the Allure of the Wilderness. The exhibition features some 50 works from the collection of the Ateneum Art Museum, which is part of the Finnish National Gallery.

Read more about the exhibition on the National Nordic Museum‘s website.