Magnus Enckell

Magnus Enckell: Self Portrait (1918). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

The painter Magnus Enckell (1870–1925) is known especially as a representative of Finnish symbolism. The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the work of one of the most significant names of the golden age of Finnish art, and presents him as a multifaceted cultural influencer.


Magnus Enckell is one of the key artists of the golden age of Finnish art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and yet only some of his work is known. The Ateneum exhibition offers a diverse overview of Enckell’s entire oeuvre from five different decades.

The exhibition and the book to be published in conjunction with it shed light on the artist’s many facets. Enckell, on the one hand, promoted radical reforms in art, but, on the other, relied on the traditions of culture and education. He was a dreamer, but also an international man of the world, a curator of exhibitions, the chairman of the Artists’ Association of Finland, and a creator of monumental works. Music, theatre, and literature were all important to this diversely educated artist.

The exhibition presents many previously unknown works, sketchbooks, pieces from Enckell’s extensive body of drawings, and photographs from his own archive. The exhibition presents Enckell’s work, from the early pieces he created when studying at a drawing school to the mythological works of the 1920s.

The exhibition curators are the director of the Ateneum, Marja Sakari; the director of collections management at the Finnish National Gallery, Riitta Ojanperä; and the chief curator of exhibitions at the Ateneum, Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff.


Get more out of your exhibition visit by ordering a guided tour or an exhibition intro!
Read more about private tours and exhibition intros


Check out all the events at the event calendar

Workshops: Get inspired by Magnus Enckell’s techniques
In this series of workshops from 4 Nov 2020 to 16 Jan 2021, we draw inspiration from the wide range of techniques used by Enckell. Read more about the workshops and book your place


The exhibition is complemented by the publication of a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue with articles by experts, offering an overall picture of the artist. The exhibition catalogue is published in Finnish, Swedish and English, and it is be edited by Hanne Selkokari and Lene Wahlsten.

Watch the short film

Magnus Enckell: Awakening Faun (1914)

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