Tove Jansson, "The windows of the atelier".
Sign.1965. Oil on canvas 128x102 cm.
Wear due to age and use. Minor paint cracking.
Gift from the artist to the current owner.
"Tove Jansson", Turku Art Museum, 4.2.-4.4.1993.
"Tove Jansson-A Celebratory Exhibition", Tampere Art Museum, 15.6.-16.10.1994.
Erik Kruskopf, "Bildkonstnären Tove Jansson", Schildts, 1992. Illustrated on front cover of the book and on p.228.
Petter Karlsson, "Muminvärlden & verkligheten", WSOY 2014, illustrated on p.194.
Tove Jansson spent a large part of her life living in various kinds of studio apartments. She spent her childhood in her artist parents’ studio home on Katajanokka and later moved with her family to the artist’s home, Lallukka, in Töölö, where she lived for the next few decades.
Shortly after the end of the war, she moved into her own studio apartment at Ullanlinnankatu 1, which she first rented and later managed to buy. For a young artist, having their own space was necessary, but for a woman, it was particularly important. In a diary entry from 1944, Tove writes about the war-damaged attic apartment:
"The first time I came into the new studio there was an alarm, and the artillery gave me a salute of welcome. I just stood and looked and was happy. The wind was coming in through the broken windows and chimneys, and big piles of rubble were lying under the cracks in the walls. Twelve windows reaching out to the light and as high as a church. I planted my easel in the middle of the floor, I was utterly happy."
In the 1960s, there was a comprehensive modernisation of the studio apartment designed by the architect couple Raili and Reima Pietilä, who were the sister-in-law and brother of Tove Jansson’s life partner, Tuulikki Pietilä. The walls were painted white, like a blank canvas ready for new creative winds.
The work "The windows of the atelier" from 1965 captures a touching moment in this cherished studio apartment. The Vienna Chair, which appears in a number of Jansson’s other works, is placed in the room opposite a sculpture of a woman, as if someone had just sat there and viewed the arrangement. The light from the high arched windows makes the view seem almost boundless with the room, and the church towers and neighboring roofs feel like part of the interior. The red hanging fabric characterizes the creative period that the artist experienced in the 1960s when she painted large-scale and colorful, often largely abstract compositions.