Pekka Halonen, Winter landscape from Kinahmi.
Sign.-23. Oil on canvas 76x60 cm.
Wear due to age and use.
"Vanhaa ja uutta", Galerie Hörhammer, 1981.
Kinahmi is a 10 kilometre long and one-kilometre wide steeping quartzite ridge that distinctly stands out against its environment. The vegetation is rich and diverse, and in winter, the hills are piled up with more snow than the surrounding areas.
Pekka Halonen was utterly spellbound by these landscapes when he was acquainted with them at the beginning of the 1920s. The mighty sceneries from Kinahmi have achieved an established position in his latter production. Specifically, these paintings have often been emphasized as representative examples of his distinct art.
In a letter from February 1923, Halonen wrote to his family from the Kinahmi village;
" This is, by all means, a fantastic place – frankly speaking, a world-class wonder! Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that something like this exists in Finland. There is no point in trying to explain because it has to be experienced with one's own eyes what nature is capable of when circumstances are favourable".
The journey to the Kinahmi heights was time-consuming and exhausting. In his letters, Halonen also complains about the harsh cold and inadequate equipment but still points out that he is blessed to have experienced a place like this before he dies. He compares it to the architecture from the tales of "One Thousand and One Nights".
Kinahmi had had settlements dating back to the 16th century, noticeable from the traces of slash-and-burn agriculture on the ridges. Also, the quartzite quarry, established at the beginning of the 20th century, had already made its' impact on the environment. Despite these traces, Halonen evidently felt that in Kinahmi, he had found "winter landscapes still not deprived by mankind", which according to him were diminishing rapidly due to the disastrous rampage of the forest industry.
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