Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum

Joseph Alanen’s Kalevala-themed works donated to the Ateneum

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The Ateneum Art Museum, which is part of the Finnish National Gallery, has received three Kalevala-themed tempera paintings by Joseph Alanen (1885–1920) for its collection, from a private donor. Before this donation, the Finnish National Gallery’s collection only included one work by Alanen. The works will be placed on display in the Kalevala exhibition gallery of the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition, on Kalevala Day, 28 February 2018.

Joseph Alanen: Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Joseph Alanen: Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.

Media representatives are welcome to a short information session held on the same day at 13:00. More information is provided below.

“We are extremely grateful for this donation of Joseph Alanen’s works. The collection of the Finnish National Gallery has always been built in collaboration with private donors, and the same holds true today. Alanen’s works are a welcome addition to the Kalevala section of the Stories of Finnish art exhibition”, says the museum director, Susanna Pettersson.

“Our family has had the pleasure and the privilege of living with works by Joseph Alanen, who is a member of the family. Nevertheless, we feel that the works are so important in terms of their imagery and cultural-historical value that they belong to all Finnish people. Alanen lived most of his life in Finland, which was then part of the Russian empire. As a Fennoman, I’m sure he would be pleased that the works have been donated to the Finnish National Gallery and made available for the Finnish people to enjoy”, says the representative of the donor family, Anna Wartiovaara

The donated paintings are Defence of the Sampo (1910–1912), The Wild Duck and the Celestial Bodies (1919–1920) and Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd (1919–1920). The last two will be featured in the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition, starting on 28 February. The works will be added to the Ateneum collection under the title Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. 

Joseph Alanen almost always painted with tempera colours on unprimed linen. He used a shadowless method of painting in which the illusion of depth was achieved through the use of colour. From the beginning of his career, Alanen was interested in themes related to the Kalevala epic, and it was his goal to depict the entire Kalevala, one poem at a time.

The line and ornamentation were of great importance in Alanen’s Kalevala-themed art. The water, air, clouds and space are highly stylised, and the vegetation decorative. The people depicted in the paintings can often only be identified based on the content of the poem. His later works display an influence of Jugendstil, in particular. As symbols from the Kalevala epic, Alanen’s paintings continued to feature swans, lilies and the black river of the Tuonela underworld.

Other works on display in the Kalevala exhibition gallery of the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition include Akseli Gallen-Kallela's Aino Myth (1891), Lemminkäinen's Mother (1897) and Kullervo Cursing (1899);Robert Wilhelm Ekman's Ilmatar (1860); and Heikki W. Virolainen's sculptures Marjatta (1965) and Virgin Daughter of the Ether (1970). 


A short information session on Wednesday 28 February 13:00–13:30

Media representatives are welcome to the event, which is to mark the occasion of the donation, and which is to be held in the Kalevala exhibition gallery of the Stories of Finnish Art exhibition. Speakers at the event are the museum director Susanna Pettersson and the representative of the donor family, Anna Wartiovaara. Access is through the museum’s main staircase.We encourage media representatives to register in advance at: pressconference@ateneum.fi


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Tue, Fri 10am–6pm | Wed, Thu 10am–8pm | Sat, Sun 10am–5pm | Mon closed

Admission
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Avainsanat

Yhteyshenkilöt

Anna Kari, Communications Officer, tel. +358 40 717 8185, anna.kari at ateneum.fi

Press photos: press.ateneum.fi | username: ateneum | password: mediat

Kuvat

Joseph Alanen: Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Joseph Alanen: Lemminkäinen and the Cowherd (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Lataa
Joseph Alanen: The Wild Duck and the Celestial Bodies (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Joseph Alanen: The Wild Duck and the Celestial Bodies (1919–1920). Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, Collection Maine Wartiovaara née Alanen. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen.
Lataa

Linkit

Tietoja julkaisijasta

Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
Ateneumin taidemuseo / Konstmuseet Ateneum / Ateneum Art Museum
Kaivokatu 2
00100 HELSINKI

0294 500 401http://www.ateneum.fi

Ateneum’s main corporate partners are Helsingin Sanomat, HOK-Elanto and KPMG. 

Ateneum Art Museum is Finland’s leading art museum, which houses Finnish art from the 19th century to the modern age. Ateneum is part of the Finnish National Gallery, together with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Sinebrychoff Art Museum. www.kansallisgalleria.fi/en

 

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