Exhibition at the museum

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931).A Passion for Finland

From February 07th to May 06th, 2012 -
Musée d'Orsay
Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
75007 Paris
Map & itinerary
Akseli Gallen-Kallela-La Défense de Sampo (Sammon puolustus)
Akseli Gallen-Kallela
La Défense de Sampo [Sammon puolustus], 1896
Finlande, Turku, Turku Art Museum
© Turku Art Museum / Photo Kari Lehtinen / Patrice Schmidt

Although recognised as one of the most emblematic artists of the Finnish genius at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Akseli Gallen-Kallela has never been the subject of a monographic exhibition in France. Yet he was closely linked with Paris: a pupil of the Académie Julian in the 1880s, he triumphed at the 1900 World Fair with the frescoes of the Finnish Pavillion with themes drawn from the epic Kalevala, he exhibited his work again in Paris in 1908 before embarking for Africa from which he returned with a flamboyant series of paintings and watercolours.
Naturalism, neo-romanticism, symbolism and expressionism are intermingled in his work, which also include decorative arts. The exhibition accounts for this brilliant career, showing together pieces usually conserved in prestigious Finnish institutions and private collections that constitute manifestos of an art too often reduced to the expression of a national identity.

The exhibition is now over.

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Detailed presentation of the exhibition