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Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Born: Pori, 26 April 1865
Died: Stockholm, 7 March 1931
Nationality: Finnish

with Adolf von Becker; School of the Finnish Arts Society Helsinki); Académie Julian (Paris); with Fernand Cormon (Paris)


1884 – moves to Paris; begins painting subjects from the Kalevala, the national epic poem of Finland

1890-92 – travels throughout eastern Finland documenting folk culture

1894-95 - builds studio in Ruovesi (south central Finland)

1898 - studies fresco painting in Italy

1900 – commissioned to decorate vault of the Finnish pavilion at the Exposition universelle (Paris), contributes furniture and textile designs

1901 – completes mural painting Kullervo Taking the Field, commissioned for the Students’ Corporation Building (Helsinki); begins decoration of the Juselius family chapel in Pori

1911-13 - builds studio at Tarvaspää (near Helsinki, now Gallen-Kallela Museum)

1920s – commissioned to decorate vault of the National Museum in Helsinki


Paris (1884-89); Karelia (1890-92); France and Germany (1892-94, 1895); Italy (1898); Africa (1909-10)

Important Artworks: 

Boy and the Crow, 1884 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

Old Woman with a Cat, 1885 (Art Museum, Turku)

Waterfall at Mäntykoski, 1892-94 (Private Collection)

Symposium, 1896 (Private Collection)

Defense of the Sampo, 1896 (Art Museum, Turku)

Lemminkäinen’s Mother, 1897 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)

Kullervo's Curse, 1897-99 (Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki)