- About Ateneum
The Wounded Angel
Hugo Simberg worked long and hard on this painting. The first elements can be found in a sketchbook dating from 1898. Other sketches and photographs reflect the various phases of the composition. Simberg took photographs of his models in the studio and in Eläintarha park in Helsinki. The path shown in the painting still exists today along the shore of Töölönlahti bay.
The working process was interrupted when Simberg fell seriously ill. When he came out of hospital he finished off the work in the spring and summer of 1903 and entered it in the Finnish Art Society annual autumn show. At that point he had not given it a name, wishing to express both the work's profound personal significance for him and the fact that it did not have merely one meaning. Every viewer works out his own interpretation and experiences it in a different way.
Simberg was awarded a State Prize for art in 1904 for this painting. In 2007, a Finnish poll voted The Wounded Angel the most loved work in the Ateneum collections.
Works displayed in this room
Simberg, Hugo: The Wounded Angel, 1903 (audio guide)
The Wounded Angel, landscape study, 1902
More information on the works and artists from the Finnish National Gallery Collections web service.