Akseli Gallen – Kallela

Finnish painter and designer. Trained in Helsinki and Paris, Gallen – Kallela painted National Romantic landscapes, before adopting a Symbolist style in the 1890’s He was intrigued by traditional art and life in rural Karelia, and turned his artistic attention to the Finnish epic the Kalevala. Gallen – Kallela was a defining figure of Finnish Art Nouveau. His country house ‘Kalela’ combined traditional and modern ideas, as did his designs for textiles and stained glass. Murals for the Finnish pavilion at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition brought his work to an international audience. During the 1910s and 1920s he had close ties with the German Expressionists, but he later returned to the Kalevala embarking on a plan to fully illustrate the story.