The Nordic landscapes of Gallen Kallela in Paris

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In the vast and rich private mansion on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris , now home to the Jacquemart-André museum, the artist Gallen Kallela is in the spotlight.

An emblematic Finnish artist

It had been 10 years since an exhibition had been devoted to him. Akseli Gallen-Kallela is still unknown to the general public and the Jacquemart-André Museum invites us to rediscover the extraordinary work of one of the most emblematic artists of Finnish genius at the turn of the 20th century. If he was a real icon in Scandinavia at the time, it was above all for his monumental frescoes illustrating episodes from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. Powerful works which triumphed at the Universal Exhibition of 1900 and which greatly contributed to the development of a national identity for its people.

Gallen Kallela

The Finnish nature and landscape

Through nearly seventy works from public and private collections, including exceptional loans from the Gallen-Kallela Museum in Espoo, the exhibition invests a dominant aspect of his work and spanning his entire career, namely the theme of Finnish nature and landscape. Clouds are reflected, sometimes dull, sometimes shiny, depending on whether the ice has melted or leaves a fine trace on the water. Cottony snow invents new shapes. Suddenly, a tree cuts through the horizontality of the landscape and highlights the intense solitude that reigns in this northern region.

Gallen Kallela

Represent Finland with lyricism

Gallen-Kallela was able to represent Finland with incomparable lyricism. Turning his back on urban modernity, he anchored his work in a wild nature of majestic beauty, following the shimmering unfolding of the seasons by taking as a motif the dense forests and the countless Finnish lakes. Symphonic, his landscapes vibrate with all the power of natural elements as inhabited by ancestral, mythological and sacred forces. If works by Gallen-Kalella had already been presented during thematic exhibitions, centered on Finnish art or Nordic art, it was the major retrospective devoted to him by the Musée d’Orsay in 2012 that enabled the Parisian public to discover his entire career. Contributing to the dissemination of Finnish art beyond its borders, our exhibition aims to reveal in greater depth the question of the relationship of man to nature, which evolves during his career.

Gallen Kallela


Mythes et nature

From March 11 to July 25, 2022

Musée Jacquemart-André

158 Bd Haussmann, 75008 Paris

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