Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Portrait of Sigrid af Forselles, 1902, oil on hardboard, 37cm x 35cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen

Editorial: Taking Research Interests to the Next Level

Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director of Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery

 

23 January 2021

 

We are beginning 2021 by publishing a second series of articles on the life and work of the Finnish painter Magnus Enckell (1870–1929). These articles were first published in the exhibition catalogue of Enckell’s monographic exhibition in October 2020.

A focal trait in Enckell’s art was his continued interest in classical European mythology, from his early output up to his very late works. Mythological themes offered him a way to align with the early modern Symbolist movement and its radical ideas in Paris in the early 1890s. These themes also served as a vehicle for the emotional transference he sought in his artistic practice along the lines of the emerging theories in modern psychology and art theory of the period. A fresh look at Enckell’s paintings has also revealed new links between his Neo-impressionist period from the early 1910s and European vitalist philosophy.

A major outcome of the Magnus Enckell research project is the publication of a separate illustrated catalogue of the artist’s paintings and graphic works, which is intended particularly as a future resource for the art-historical research community. A survey was conducted simultaneously with the exhibition project among Finnish museums, foundations and institutions that elicited information about several works in private collections that could be included as well. The catalogue refers to and complements to an extent a constitutive biography and catalogue raisonné of Enckell’s art by Dr Jaakko Puokka, published in 1949. Our new catalogue is available only online.

Accomplished artist women from Finnish art history have raised continuing interest internationally and some, such as the painter Helene Schjerfbeck, have been presented in solo exhibitions and gradually included in the canon of modern European art. However, the matter of looking more thoroughly than previously into women’s contribution in art is by no means complete. On the contrary, the results of an intensified investment in researching, for example the limiting conditions faced by women artists on their way to a more or less recognised artistic career, are yet to be seen. Now the Ateneum Art Museum, as part of the Finnish National Gallery, is participating in a groundbreaking project in co-operation with the national galleries of Sweden (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm) and Norway (National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo) to shed new light and share innovative approaches to Nordic women sculptors between 1870 and 1940.

Last but not least, we are delighted to announce that the Finnish National Gallery’s successful research intern programme is continuing in 2021. Two research interns have been selected to work for a three-month period to investigate their chosen areas of the Finnish National Gallery’s collections. By investing annually in the programme we wish to encourage interest in our collections and support students who choose to study subjects based on physical collections and objects, archive material and data. During the past four years, this format of interaction between experienced museum professionals and masters-level students has created a bridge between museums and academia in a most fruitful and gratifying way.

Featured image: Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Portrait of Sigrid af Forselles, 1902, oil on hardboard, 37cm x 35cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

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Magnus Enckell, Death’s Walk, 1896, watercolour and pencil on paper, 50.5cm x 67.5cm, Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

Tones of Black – Magnus Enckell’s Early Work

Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff, PhD, Chief Curator, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, co-curator of ‘Magnus Enckell’ exhibition 2020−21

Also published in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020. Transl. Don McCracken

Magnus Enckell may not be a household name but some of his works are very well known. Boy with Skull (1892) and The Awakening (1894) are paintings that have retained their fascination for generations in Finnish art history. But what was Enckell like, as a man and an artist? How did his career begin and how did it progress from the late 19th to the early 20th century?

Enckell was already an influential person from a young age, and his interests and bold artistic experiments were the subject of much attention. His artistic career differed from others of his generation, not least because from the start, he received support from Finland’s most prominent artist, Albert Edelfelt, who also later served as his mentor, yet he was also very international in his artistic taste. When many of his fellow artists were involved with the transnational ideas of national revival, Enckell’s interests were focussed on international art and especially on Symbolism.

Enckell’s life as an artist is intriguingly contradictory, and on a personal level he was apparently complex and often divided opinion.[1] Yet he had many supporters, and he influenced ideas and perceptions about art among his close artist friends. Enckell was also good at networking and he forged his own international connections with artists in Paris. Unlike his contemporaries, he worked and socialised closely with women artists, making no distinction between the sexes, which was very unusual in the late 19th century. In his youth he enjoyed deep mutual appreciation and friendships with Ellen Thesleff, Beda Stjernschantz, and the sculptors Sigrid af Forselles and Madeleine Jouvray, although these relationships changed with the times. As we will see, Enckell was able to move smoothly between the Finnish and international art scenes, private and public, between a wide variety of worlds, both at home and abroad.[2]

Magnus Enckell’s early output, from 1884 to 1896, was prolific but also full of experimentation and ambitious exploration. As with many other artists, it is also fragmented, and not just because he is known to have destroyed some of his work from this time: this makes it rather difficult to compile a coherent picture of the early stages of his career.[3] Jaakko Puokka’s 1949 monograph on Enckell provides a comprehensive, chronological list of works but, since many are undated, my research has led me to form slightly different conclusions.[4]

[1] Johannes Öhqvist. Suomen taiteen historia. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Kirja, 1912, 453−57.

[2] See Marja Lahelma. ‘Beda Stjernschantz’, 70−71; Anu Utriainen. ‘Sigrid af Forselles’, 94−95 and Hanna-Reetta Schreck. ‘“The you of my youth” – Magnus Enckell and Ellen Thesleff’, 35−37, in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020.

[3] Enckell is known to have destroyed works that he was unhappy with in the 1890s in particular. Jaakko Puokka. Magnus Enckell: Ihminen ja taiteilija. Helsinki: Suomalainen tiedeakatemia & Otava, 1949, 83; Salme Sarajas-Korte. Suomen varhaissymbolismi ja sen lähteet. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 1966, 197.

[4] See the new Illustrated Catalogue compiled for the Magnus Enckell exhibition at the Ateneum Art Museum, 23 October 2020 to 14 February 2021, https://research.fng.fi/2021/01/23/magnus-enckell-illustrated-catalogue.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Death’s Walk, 1896, watercolour and pencil on paper, 50.5cm x 67.5cm, Ahlström Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

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Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Fantasy, 1895, gouache, crayon and pencil on paper, 47cm x 44cm, Herman and Elisabeth Hallonblad Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

The Interpretation of Dreams: Fantasy and the Musical Stages of Emotion

Riikka Stewen, PhD, Lecturer, University of Turku / Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki

Also published in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020. Transl. Don McCracken

In the autumn of 1894, Magnus Enckell travels to Italy on a study trip, bound for Milan to see and study Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper (c. 1495−98). Once there he stays for several weeks, making sketches for what would become his most monumental work of the 1890s, Melancholy (1895). In a letter to his friend Yrjö Hirn, he says that the painting is intended to convey a certain feeling, or emotional state, to the viewer.[1] Enckell and Hirn would both turn 24 that autumn, but the discussion in their correspondence about the meaning of art and the role that emotions play in it started much further back in time. Two years earlier, Hirn had completed his study on the influence of Lucretius, an ancient materialist philosopher, on modern psychological thinking, and he was now focusing on the psychology of shamanism.[2] When Hirn’s study, The Origins of Art, appears in 1900, he becomes a key international exponent of a new trend in aesthetics, called psychological aesthetics. Enckell, the artist, and Hirn, the theoretician, are both interested in the connection between art and emotion, and they recognise that they share the same interests as regards the essence of art: in a letter from Milan, Enckell declares what a unique privilege it is to share ideas with a friend.[3]

[1] Magnus Enckell’s letter to Yrjö Hirn, Milan 5 November 1894. Yrjö Hirn’s Collection, Coll. 75. The National Library of Finland. Salme Sarajas-Korte also mentions Oscar Wilde’s ‘transference of emotion’ in connection with Enckell’s letter, Salme Sarajas-Korte. Suomen varhaissymbolismi ja sen lähteet. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 1966, 199.

[2] Hirn’s archive in the National Library of Finland includes his thesis Lucretius’ theory of the psychology of the sensations, 1892, and his handwritten manuscript ‘Preparatory works for the planned thesis about the psychology of shamanism’, 1895, and ‘The beginning of the planned thesis about the psychology of shamanism’, 1897.

[3] Magnus Enckell’s letter to Yrjö Hirn, autumn 1894. Yrjö Hirn’s Collection, Coll. 75. The National Library of Finland.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Fantasy, 1895, gouache, crayon and pencil on paper, 47cm x 44cm, Herman and Elisabeth Hallonblad Collection, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

Read more — Download ‘The Interpretation of Dreams: Fantasy and the Musical Stages of Emotion’, by Riikka Stewen, as a PDF

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Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Resurrection, study for the left side of the Tampere Cathedral altarpiece, 1907, oil on canvas, 250cm x 400cm, Antell Collections, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Magnus Enckell’s Resurrection

Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director of Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery, co-curator, ‘Magnus Enckell’ exhibition 2020–21

Also published in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020. Transl. Don McCracken

Magnus Enckell’s Resurrection, painted for the altarpiece of St John’s Church in Tampere (now Tampere Cathedral), was completed in the spring of 1907, and was a key part of the overall scheme of works commissioned for the building’s interior. The church’s architecture and its abundance of paintings have made it one of Finland’s most important total works of art from the turn of the 20th century.

Modern church art

The competition to design St John’s Church was won by Lars Sonck in 1900, and construction began in 1902. The original competition assignment included instructions for relatively simple interior decoration, which Sonck incorporated into his own plan from 1902.[1] The architect’s ideas included fresco paintings and stained glass on the choir window. In his preliminary discussions with Magnus Enckell, the artist was asked to provide a cost estimate, as well as preliminary drafts in 1903. In the autumn of that year, on Albert Edelfelt’s recommendation, the painting assignment was awarded to Enckell and Hugo Simberg. A panel of experts, comprising Edelfelt, Professor of Art History J.J. Tikkanen, Pastor Karl Oskar Fontell, Architect Birger Federley and Lars Sonck, was appointed to evaluate sketches and oversee the progress of the work.

[1] Paula Kivinen. Tampereen tuomiokirkko. Helsinki: WSOY, 1986, 74.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Resurrection, study for the left side of the Tampere Cathedral altarpiece, 1907, oil on canvas, 250cm x 400cm, Antell Collections, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

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Magnus Enckell, sketch for Bird of Paradise, 1925, watercolour on paper, 47cm x 68cm. Antell Collections, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

Magnus Enckell’s Dreams of Monumental Works

Juha-Heikki Tihinen, PhD, Curator, Pro Artibus Foundation / Adjunct professor, University of Helsinki

Also published in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020. Transl. Wif Stenger

When we have reached the innermost room, the dividing walls will certainly collapse. Our eyes will see everything; our heart will regain everything. Then time will no longer exist.[1]

In the late 19th century, the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk (‘total work of art’) gained great popularity and began to attract increasing numbers of artists, both the young and the more experienced. The young Magnus Enckell was also aware that monumental art was topical and he dreamt of creating his own. Enckell’s vision was fulfilled many times over, as he was able to realise monumental works in a number of churches, as well as a temple of science, the University of Helsinki library (now the National Library).

Enckell’s first monumental work was the Gethsemane altarpiece for Savitaipale Church in 1902, followed by The Golden Age for the library in 1904, the Resurrection altarpiece fresco for St John’s Church (now Tampere Cathedral) in 1907, the staircase paintings for the Nylands Nation building (1913 and 1920) and stained-glass paintings for Pori Church (unveiled posthumously in 1925).[2] Enckell could also be considered a successful artist based on his monumental works, as monumental art had gained great popularity. For instance, in a famous essay from 1891 the French critic Albert Aurier called for Paul Gauguin to be given walls to paint.[3] According to the art historian Hans Belting, the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk represented an effort to bring back art as a collective experience rather than art as an object of individual aesthetic pleasure.[4]

[1] Juha-Heikki Tihinen. ‘Identiteettien lähteillä − Magnus Enckellin luonnoskirjan tarkastelua’, in Susanna Aaltonen and Hanne Selkokari (eds.), Identiteettejä – Identiter. Renja Suominen-Kokkosen juhlakirja. Taidehistoriallisia tutkimuksia 45. Helsinki: Taidehistorian seura, 2013, 92−93 (translated into Finnish); Juha-Heikki Tihinen. Halun häilyvät rajat: Magnus Enckellin teosten maskuliinisuuksien ja feminiinisyyksien representaatioista ja itsen luomisesta. Taidehistoriallisia tutkimuksia 37. Helsinki: Taidehistorian seura, 2008, 127: ‘Då vi har hunnit i det innersta rummet, då skola säkert skiljoväggarna falla ned. Vårt öga skall se alt, vårt hjärta får alt igen. Då finnes tiden ej mera.’

[2] Juha-Heikki Tihinen. ‘Thinly veiled desire – Magnus Enckell’s Portrayal of Men’, in Juha-Heikki Tihinen & Jari Björklöv (eds.), Magnus Enckell 1870–1925. Helsinki: Helsingin kaupungin taidemuseo, 2000, 124−30.

[3] Albert Aurier. ‘Symbolism in painting: Paul Gauguin’ (1891), in Henri Dorra, Symbolist Art Theories. A Critical Anthology. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1994, 203.

[4] Hans Belting. The Invisible Masterpiece. Trans. Helen Atkins. London: Reaktion Books Ltd, 2001, 203.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, sketch for Bird of Paradise, 1925, watercolour on paper, 47cm x 68cm. Antell Collections, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

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Magnus Enckell, sketch for a Petition by the Finnish Art Society, undated, watercolour on paper, 12cm x 33cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Henri Tuomi

Enckell for Artists – Associations, Support, Acquisitions

Hanne Selkokari, PhD, Curator, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum

Also published in Hanne Selkokari (ed.), Magnus Enckell 1870−1925. Ateneum Publications Vol. 141. Helsinki: Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2020. Transl. Don McCracken

In addition to his career as an artist, Magnus Enckell made a significant contribution to the Artists’ Association of Finland and the Finnish Art Society’s Commission and Scholarship Committee, and here he was able to influence both the status of artists and acquisitions for the national art collection. At the same time, in the 1910s, Enckell’s closest peer friends and allies held the most important posts in the art field: Yrjö Hirn was a professor of aesthetics, Sigurd Frosterus a critic, art expert and collector; and the architect Gustaf Strengell and then the art historian Torsten Stjernschantz served as the Finnish Art Society chief curators responsible for acquisitions and the exhibitions policy.[1]

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Magnus Enckell, Self-Portrait, 1918, oil on canvas, 42cm x 33.5cm Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Magnus Enckell: Illustrated Catalogue

In connection with its major Magnus Enckell exhibition (23 October 2020 – 14 February 2021) the Ateneum Art Museum publishes a fully illustrated catalogue of the artist’s paintings and graphic works intended for researchers, museums and all other interested parties. A survey was conducted in the autumn of 2019 among Finnish museums, foundations and institutions, inquiring about works by Enckell they might have in their collections. The museums then collated and submitted a great deal of information and visual material regarding their collections. The survey also received significant amounts of information from their owners about works in private collections. The survey even uncovered some works whose whereabouts or owner was not previously known.

The catalogue covers Enckell’s oil paintings, pastels, gouaches, watercolours and works in mixed media, from his early works of the 1880s, up to 1925. Enckell’s prints were all created between 1900 and 1922, and a separate list has been compiled to give new visibility to this relatively overlooked aspect of his output. The works that were ultimately included in this catalogue, totalling 426 works, are those for which the museum was able to obtain photographs.

The catalogue is compiled and edited by curator Hanne Selkokari and coordinator Lene Wahlsten, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. It is published in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, Self-Portrait, 1918, oil on canvas, 42cm x 33.5cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

Read more and download the catalogue with more information about its compilation as a pdf

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Featured image: Sigrid af Forselles, Youth, 1880–89, bronze, 43cm x 41.5cm x 26cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen

Strong, Self-Sufficient and Sharp – Nordic Women Sculptors 1870–1940

Anu Utriainen, MA, Senior Researcher, Ateneum Art Museum / Finnish National Gallery

 A research and exhibition project co-ordinated by the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, and the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki.

This research project aims to chart and compare the women sculptors in the Nordic countries who were active at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The criterion for the selection is that the women were professionals, meaning that they had been trained as sculptors, exhibited sculpture at public exhibitions or that their work had been acquired by museums.

The project is led by Curator of Sculpture, Linda Hinners PhD of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. Members of the editorial board are Curator Vibeke Waallann Hansen of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo and Senior Researcher Anu Utriainen of the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki. The research group consists of scholars and researchers in the Nordic countries, Belgium and France. The results of the research project will be released in the form of a publication and an exhibition at the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm in 2022.

The increased presence of women in artistic life at the end of the 19th century marks an important shift and reflects the discussions about gender in this period. This was a pioneering time for women’s rights and particularly for gaining the opportunity to enter professional careers and paid employment. Art was an attractive choice for the daughters of the middle classes. In 1848, Finland became one of the first countries in Europe to give open access to basic art studies for women and men alike at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society. In Sweden, the Fine Arts Academy offered art studies for women from 1864 onwards. At the same time, there were still limits placed on women having careers as independent artists, and conventional opinions had a powerful influence on what were deemed to be suitable activities and occupations for women.

Featured image: Sigrid af Forselles, Youth, 1880–89, bronze, 43cm x 41.5cm x 26cm, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Pakarinen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

Read more — Download ‘Strong, Self-Sufficient and Sharp – Nordic Women Sculptors 1870–1940’, by Anu Utriainen, as a PDF

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Two Research Interns Appointed at the Finnish National Gallery for 2021

Two research interns have been selected for the FNG research internship programme for 2021. The decisions were made based on the applications and the following points were underlined:

  • The point of view of the archives and collections: priority was given to students whose applications were based on a concrete and defined part of the FNG collections and especially to previously unstudied and/or topical materials
  • Preparation of the working plan and the research questions related to the chosen collections material

The FNG research intern programme has two aims. The Finnish National Gallery wishes to enhance the study of its collections, including artworks, archives, and objects. At the same time we wish to support students who choose to study subjects based on physical collections and objects, archive material and data.

The research interns at the Finnish National Gallery for 2021 are:

Emmi Halmesvirta, University of Helsinki

Artist Juhana Blomstedt (1937–2010) and his artistic process from the sketches to finished artworks; the sketchbooks and drawings in the Collection of the Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum and the Juhana Blomstedt Archive in the Archive Collections of the Finnish National Gallery.

Ida Pakarinen, University of Helsinki

Recycled materials in artworks and art as part of nature; artists and artworks in the Collection of the Finnish National Gallery / Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (artists and artworks to be chosen and defined later) and making artist interviews that will be included in the Archive Collections of the Finnish National Gallery; related material in the Archive Collections.

The internship period is for three months. All of the interns will have their own in-house tutors to support them with studying their chosen material.

For more information about the FNG’s research internship programme: fngr@nationalgallery.fi

Magnus Enckell, a page from a sketch book, 1912, probably showing the Variety Theatre Bal Tabar in Paris, pencil on paper, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen

Editorial: Taking the Long View

 Riitta Ojanperä, PhD, Director of Collections Management, Finnish National Gallery

 

27 November 2020

 

This autumn all three museums of the Finnish National Gallery have been a hive of activity. New shows have been opened and our audiences have received their exhibition programmes with enthusiasm. This is most rewarding after the Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year. It underlines the relevance of long-term and focussed art-history based research, which is the steady cornerstone of our exhibition programmes. Our current programme opens new horizons in looking at both Finnish and Italian art.

In this issue of FNG Research magazine we publish four articles that first appeared earlier this autumn in the context of a monographic exhibition of the artist Magnus Enckell (1870–1925) at the Ateneum Art Museum. Enckell was one of the key figures during the period when Finnish artists were being influenced by Symbolist phenomena in Paris during the early 1890s. Some 20 years later, Enckell was considered to be one of the first to lead Finnish painters towards a notable strand of Neo-Impressionism.

Comprehensive exhibitions of Enckell’s work have been rare in recent decades, but both the man and his art have been a constant source of interest to Finnish critics and art historians since his death. Enckell has been considered an enigmatic and rather inaccessible person. In the late 1900s and early 2000s, one reason for this was revealed in the art-historical studies undertaken by Harri Kalha, as well as Juha-Heikki Tihinen. Kalha’s article in the current exhibition catalogue, based on his extensive monographic study from 2005, discusses the discursive strategies of veiling and unveiling Enckell’s covert homosexuality, which seemingly created a deliberately enigmatic and rather inaccessible aura around Enckell’s person. Marja Lahelma sheds light on Enckell’s work after the turn of the 20th century from the perspective of the philosophical and health-promoting aspects of vitalism. The theme of plein air and marine landscape in relation to Enckell’s art is discussed by Anne-Maria Pennonen. And a new approach towards the artist’s late career is outlined by Marja Sakari, one of the exhibition’s curators.

For the first time ever in Finland, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum brings together more than 20 oil paintings, in addition to drawings and etchings, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico. The exhibition includes a significant tranche of drawings by the Tiepolos from The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, whose leading Tiepolo expert, Dr Irina Artemieva, is interviewed in this issue. According to Dr Artemieva, the very subject of the exhibition, Tiepolo’s art in Northern Europe, is already new and offers a fresh approach to the study of these great Venetian masters. The show, and the research associated with the exhibition that is published in an accompanying catalogue, is set to stimulate justified interest and surprises among Tiepolo specialists internationally.

FNG Research magazine, together with the Ateneum Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma and the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, wishes readers and collaborators inspiring and thought-provoking discoveries in our latest issue.

Featured image: Magnus Enckell, a page from a sketch book, 1912, probably showing the Variety Theatre Bal Tabar in Paris, pencil on paper, Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Jenni Nurminen
Public domain. This image of a work of art is released under a CC0 licence, and can be freely used because the copyright (70 full calendar years after the death of the artist) has expired.

Read more — Download FNG Research No. 6/2020 as a PDF

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