Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Birth
Death 7 Mar 1931 (aged 65)
Burial Helsinki, Helsinki Municipality, Uusimaa, Finland
Memorial ID 99946547 · View Source
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He was a Finnish painter who is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. His work was considered very important for the Finnish national identity. He changed his name from Gallen to Gallen-Kallela in 1907. He was born Axel Waldemar Gallén in Pori, Finland in a Swedish-speaking family. His father Peter Gallén worked as police chief and lawyer. At the age of 11 he was sent to Helsinki to study at a grammar school, because his father opposed his ambition to become a painter. After his father's death in 1879, he attended drawing classes at the Finnish Art Society (1881-4) and studied privately under Adolf von Becker. In 1884 he moved to Paris, to study at the Académie Julian. In Paris he became friends with the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt, the Norwegian painter Adam Dörnberger, and the Swedish writer August Strindberg. In December 1894, he moved to Berlin to oversee the joint exhibition of his works with the works of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Here he became acquainted with the Symbolists. For the Paris World Fair in 1900, Gallen-Kallela painted frescoes for the Finnish Pavilion. In these frescoes, his political ideas became most apparent. One of the vipers in the fresco "Ilmarinen Plowing the Field of Vipers" is wearing the Romanov crown, and the process of removing the vipers from the field was a clear reference to his wish for an independent Finland. In 1918, Gallen-Kallela and his son Jorma took part in the fighting at the front of the Finnish Civil War. When the regent, General Mannerheim, later heard about this, he invited Gallen-Kallela to design the flags, official decorations and uniforms for the newly independent Finland. In 1919 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Mannerheim. In 1925 he began the illustrations for his "Great Kalevala". This was still unfinished when he died of pneumonia in Stockholm on 7 March 1931, while returning from a lecture in Copenhagen, Denmark.



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  • Created by: julia&keld
  • Added: 31 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 99946547
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Akseli Gallen-Kallela (26 Apr 1865–7 Mar 1931), Find A Grave Memorial no. 99946547, citing Hietaniemi Cemetery, Helsinki, Helsinki Municipality, Uusimaa, Finland ; Maintained by julia&keld (contributor 46812479) .