Lake Keitele, 1905
Akseli Gallen-Kallela
Finnish, 1865-1931
Oil on canvas, 53 x 67 cm
Lahti Art Museum, LTM D 12

In summer 1904, Gallen-Kallela hired a summer lodge in Konginkangas in central Finland, on the shore of a largish lake named Lake Keitele, which is part of the Lake Päijänne waterway. Lake Keitele was painted the following year as a second version of a picture which Gallen-Kallela painted on site. A further parallel version today hangs in the National Gallery in London. In early 1904, Gallen-Kallela felt he was at a nadir in his artistic career, and he was planning to go to Paris to busy himself with drawing live models. He wanted to "start over, like a schoolboy". This plan never came to fruition, but his urge to renew himself is obvious in the superficial nature of his painting and blunt use of colour. The grey strokes dominating the painting are colour variations on the surface of the water caused by winds and subsurface currents; however, in the mythical dimension according to a folk saying they are "the wake of Väinämöinen's boat".


This exhibition has been organized by the Nordic National Galleries