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Press release: Ateneum’s exhibition season begins with Eero Järnefelt’s paintings and prints


The 2013 exhibition season at the Ateneum Art Museum begins with an exhibition of works by Eero Järnefelt. The exhibition is divided into two sections: a selection of Järnefelt’s most famous paintings will be displayed in two rooms on the third floor of the museum, while his drawings, sketchbooks and prints will be displayed in two rooms on the ground floor. Altogether the exhibition comprises 150 works from Ateneum’s own collections and on loan from the art museums of Järvenpää, Helsinki, Turku and Hämeenlinna, Ainola, the Art Foundation Merita and private collections.

The themes chosen for the exhibition by Ateneum’s Chief Curator Heikki Malme are Koli and wilderness landscapes, depictions of folk life, portraits, and the artist’s lakeside atelier home Suviranta by Tuusulanjärvi. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the artist. The exhibition has been produced in co-operation with the Eero Järnefelt Society. A book published in connection with the exhibition focuses on Järnefelt as a printmaker; the book includes an illustrated catalogue of Järnefelt’s entire production of prints.

Under the Yoke to be captured for Google Art Project

Eero Järnefelt's best known painting Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) (1893) has been chosen for the Google Art Project as Ateneum's gigapixel image. The gigapixel technique produces extremely high resolution images that enable the work of art to be examined on the Internet in more detail than would be possible with the naked eye.

Google Art is a global digital museum that makes the world's art treasures accessible to all: visitors can wander around museums from across the world and experience the works of art in detail. It is a collaboration between Google and over 180 acclaimed art institutions from 40 countries, and it makes over 35,000 works of art available online. Ateneum's images will be published on the Google Art Project website later this year.

Eero Järnefelt (1863-1937)

Landscape paintings were central to Eero Järnefelt’s artistic production from the start. His lyrical relationship to nature could be seen particularly in his smaller works that depict the details of nature. Järnefelt continued to paint the breathtaking views over Lake Pielisjärvi from atop the Koli hill almost until his death. Autumn dominates these landscapes, although all the seasons appear in Järnefelt’s art in one way or another. Like other plein air artists, he was fascinated by different weather phenomena and lighting effects.

Järnefelt began painting clouds already as a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, and the theme of clouds depicted at different times and in different weather conditions fascinated him throughout his life. This exhibition presents 20 of his cloud paintings displayed together to create a single thematic whole from sunrise to sunset.

Eero Järnefelt was also an extremely gifted portrait artist, to the extent that he came to be regarded as the nation’s official portrait painter. He was an objective and sharp-eyed observer, but he also had a deep understanding for his models. The exhibition at Ateneum includes his official portraits of the historian J.R. Danielson-Kalmari and baron Johan Philip Palmén. Alongside these official portraits the exhibition includes many warm and affectionate portraits of his wife Saimi, their five children, and other members of his family.

A more personal and intimate side to his art is revealed in the paintings, drawings and prints that he made at his lakeside atelier home Suviranta by Tuusulanjärvi. His artistic production also includes many works with an element of satire and humour, which is quite rare in Finnish art.

The exhibition has been produced in co-operation with the Eero Järnefelt Society.

Database of Eero Järnefelt’s works to the Central Art Archives

The Eero Järnefelt Society has deposited a database covering the whole of the artist’s known production at the Central Art Archives. Comprising information on more than 2,600 works of art, the database can be accessed by researchers at the archives premises.

Eero Järnefelt
Ateneum Art Museum Kaivokatu 2, 00100 Helsinki
Open:Tue & Fri 10-18; Wed & Thu 10-20; Sat & Sun 11-17, Mon closed
Tickets: €15/13 (during the 52 Soulsexhibition), €10/8 (18.02-11.04), free admission for visitors under the age of 18
Tickets in advance: Lippupalvelu outlets and online shop, www.lippupalvelu.fi

Further information:
Marja Istala Kumpunen, Communications Manager, tel. +358 (0)50 555 3551, mik@ateneum.fi


Ateneum’s main partners are Helsingin Sanomat, HOK-Elanto and KPMG.