Pictures of People (portrait, self-portrait) -thematic tour

Helene Schjerfbeck: Self-Portrait, 1912. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, coll. Kaunisto. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

How has the depiction of people changed over time? What has been the purpose and importance of portraits and self-portraits in different historical periods? The tour takes a close look at different types of portraits and self-portraits, examining the development of styles and discussing the portrayal of nudity. What is beautiful? What is true? What do self-portraits tell us? How do they do it?

Contemporary culture can also be discussed: how (and why) people want to show themselves to others – and to themselves? What does an interesting person look like? How can you tell if a picture shows an ugly person? The focus is on self-portraits and portraits of other artists.
Recommendation: All grades.

Pre-party and afterparty: assignments for before and after the museum visit

Bookings: Finnish National Gallery Service Sales by e-mail: or by telephone: +358 (0)294 500 500 (open Mon – Fri 10:00 – 14:00 – time zone UTC+2).

Show these pictures to your students before the visit to ensure that you will come across at least some works they are familiar with!

Press releases

Magnus Enckell exhibition at the Ateneum – 150 years since the versatile artist’s birth

  A major exhibition of works by the painter Magnus Enckell (1870–1925) will be shown on the third floor of the Ateneum Art Museum, from 23 October 2020 to 14 February 2021. The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the work of one of…

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