Finnish artists – alternative introduction

I admit, I have a presumption that the Finnish art scene and artists do not get much notice in other countries. I am guessing that many of us recognize names like Kahlo, Dali, Picasso and Munch even though not having a spectacular art interest. No Finnish artist has this kind of powerful name in the world art. However, we have so much to offer whether you are a hardcore art fan, have a casual interest on the topic or are dragged involuntarily to museums.

Personally, I love the Golden Age of Finnish art, which happened z. 1870-1920. This time was an era of nationalism ideas with symbolism and realistic-naturalistic approach. Artists created Finnish nature and people inspired paintings, expressing both everyday and difficult subjects that were not talked in public. Many artists show a remarkable variety in their art, developing their own signature style.

To me, each painting has a story behind it – a hidden agenda, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Children were a popular subject of the time, so I’ll do a small alternative art tour with the little ones. Below, my alternative titles for a couple of my favorites from the Golden Age.

“That peaceful moment before your mum found you wrapped in toilet paper” 

Convalescent by Helene Schjerfbeck

The big audience knows this painting as Convalescent, painted at 1888, by Helene Schjerbeck (1862-1946).

“A weekend in the summer cottage without wifi”

Reclining Boy by Magnus Enckell

Most people know this one as Reclining Boy (1892) by Magnus Enckell (1870-1925).

“Sunbathing with foil”Sleeping child by Maria WiikUntitled portrait of a sleeping child by Maria Wiik (1853-1928).

“A realization you are seriously not getting enough pocket money for your chores”

Burning the Brushwood by Eero JärnefeltOne of the most famous painting of this era. Burning the Brushwood (1893) by Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937).

“What having children is like, in imaginary world” 

Good Friends by Albert Edelfelt

This beautiful painting from 1881 is by Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905), titled as Good Friends.

Dear readers, do you want to see more of unconventional Finnish art discussion in my blog?


  1. TerryF

    Loved today’s blog. My father was born in Finland, raised in Canada, and he was an artist. So naturally, I grew up assuming that the font of all creativity was Finland, and if I had any artistic gift it was naturally because of my Finnish blood. I think the average Canadian thinks of Marimekko when they think of Finland, if they think of Finland at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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