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. Enckell’s best known works include Boy with Skull (1893) and The Awakening (1894), which are part of the Ateneum collection. The Ateneum exhibition represents the first comprehensive display of the artist’s entire oeuvre.


Magnus Enckell is one of the key artists of the golden age of Finnish art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but only some of his work is known. In the early 20th century, Enckell’s 1890s subdued palette and emphasis on drawing began to shift in a more painterly direction, towards colour- and light-filled neo-impressionism.

Enckell’s oeuvre is extensive, covering portraits, landscapes, fantasies, religious topics, still lifes, and studies of people. He also created numerous monumental paintings for public spaces. The exhibition presents Enckell’s oeuvre, from the early works he created when studying at a drawing school to the mythological subjects of the 1920s.

The exhibition coincides with the release of a comprehensive research-based exhibition catalogue, edited by the Ateneum curator Hanne Selkokari. 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.

Watch the short film

Magnus Enckell: Awakening Faun (1914)


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