These paintings and drawings were inspired by the old Finnish folk tales collected into the epic poem the Kalevala. The HELSINGIN SANOMAT INTERNATIONAL EDITION - CULTURE Wrote, and I quote, The Kalevala poets lived hundreds - maybe even thousands - of years ago and their poems were passed down in the oral tradition from generation to generation far away from European high culture. Finnish folklorist, physician and literary scholar Elias Lönnrot compiled the Finnish national epic Kalevala from Finnish and Karelian folklore in 1849. Right from the beginning, Kalevala started to inspire visual artists. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of the Finnish national epic, the Finnish Ateneum Art Museum has opened an extensive exhibition of Kalevala art covering the period from the 19th century until today. The display features more than 200 works from almost sixty artists, all inspired by the national epic. Many Finns still believe that the Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s view of Kalevala characters from the 1890s is the only correct one, and will accept no substitute, which is why Gallen-Kallela is also playing the leading role in the Ateneum exhibition.
The cards displayed show two such paintings. The one on the left features ‘Means of conveyance’ and the one to the right is about ‘fishing boats and supplies’. Merja sent me these two wonderful cards.