- About Ateneum
Inspired by the Finnish national movement, artists in the late 1800s sought to live and work amidst the peace and quiet of the unspoilt nature. Emil Wikström and Akseli Gallen-Kallela led the way, having built their own wilderness ateliers already in the mid-1890s.
In the opening years of the 20th century, an artist community grew up around Lake Tuusulanjärvi a short distance to the north of Helsinki. The movement was initiated and inspired by the author Juhani Aho and his wife, the artist Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, who moved there with their family in 1897. The artists Pekka Halonen and Eero Järnefelt, the poet J. H. Erkko and the composer Jean Sibelius (Eero Järnefelt’s brother-in-law) soon followed their example.
In 1901 Eero Järnefelt had his atelier villa Suviranta built beside Lake Tuusulanjärvi. The villa was designed by architect Usko Nyström. The Järnefelt family lived there year round until 1917, when they returned to live in Helsinki. Suviranta then became their summer home. The themes of Järnefelt’s paintings during his years at Suviranta centred on the home and family, as well as the surrounding nature. Marsh marigolds, great crested grebes, pike and frogs appear in many of his nature studies and paintings from this period. The artist’s interest in the graphic arts also flourished during his years at Suviranta.