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Akseli Gallen-Kallela

(Finland, 1865-1931)
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Italian Girl".

Sign.AG. Oil on canvas 43x35 cm.

Wear due to age and use.

Droit de suite: No

Otto Stadius; private collection, Finland.


"Axel Gallen-Kallela", Turku Art Museum, 7.3.-26.4.1931, no 9.
"Akseli Gallen-Kallela memorial exhibition", New fair hall of Helsinki, 28.2.-17.3.1935, no 62.
"Celebration of light", Art Center Pyrri, Savonlinna, 6.6.-6.8.1989.
"Keräilijä-Collector", Art Center Pyrri, Savonlinna, 27.6.-31.7.1991.
Akseli Gallen-Kallela-Mannermaan taiteen keskuksissa", Gallen-Kallela museum, 23.1.-18.4.1993.
"Akseli Gallen-Kallela", Ateneum art museum, Helsinki, 16.2.-26.5.1996, no 78.
"Akseli Gallen-Kallela", Turku Art Museum, 26.6.-8.9.1996.
"All or nothing-the young Axel Gallén", Gallen-Kallela museum, 21.1.-8.5.2011.


"Akseli Gallen-Kallela", ed.Juha Ilvas, Ateneum publications no 1, Helsinki 1996. Illustrated on p.165.

More information

Axel Gallén belonged to a generation of artists who already had the opportunity to receive a good education in Finland. In the early 1880s he studied at the Finnish Art Association's drawing school under Fredrik Ahlstedt and received private tuition from S.A.Keinänen and Albert Edelfelt. In addition, he was enrolled in Adolf von Becker's private academy from 1882 to 1884, where he became familiar with French realism.

In the autumn of 1884, Gallén travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. The acquaintances he made there were more important than his teachers at the time. Among other things, he became good friends with the Swedish writer and artist August Strindberg, who also influenced his artistic work. Another great source of inspiration was the Frenchman Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884), the leading figure in naturalistic open-air painting. His memorial exhibition in Paris in the spring of 1885 made a great impression on Gallén.

After various stays in Finland, where his famous works "Old woman with a Cat" (1885) and "The Beggar Boy" (1887) among others were produced, he returned to Paris in the autumn of 1887 and stayed there until the summer of 1889. In Paris he was still active at the Académie Julian and also at the Atelier Cormon under Fernand Cormon. Gallén's relationship with the city was ambivalent; on the one hand he was seduced by its pulse and continental atmosphere, but on the other hand he could find Paris repulsive. His small paintings with Parisian motifs are intense; the city views have been illustrated in a form of impressionistic visual impressions. During his stay in Paris, he also produced many model paintings from his studio, the most important of which is "Démasquée" (1888), a work that heralds Symbolism. Around this time, Gallén also began to depict the Kalevala. He first painted the triptych "The Ainomyth", which was completed in 1889 and awarded a second-class medal at the World Exhibition in Paris that same year.

The painting "Italian Girl" from 1889, now for sale, was produced during this important and productive period in Gallén's career. While the light on the girl's shirt and the broad brushstrokes are reminiscent of Impressionism, one can detect traces of Symbolism in the artist's efforts to depict the girl's soul and character. Line and color are not the focus, but the viewer's gaze is drawn to the girl's proud and alert face. What she is looking at remains unclear. While the painting leaves a mysterious impression, the artist gives us an insight into the model's state of mind and inner being. A piece of art that enchants and fascinates in its entirety.

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