Short Stories about Art
Artworks often come with a fascinating backstory. The exhibition brings together a selection of well-known and less well-known works from the collection. Helmi Vartiainen was a young art student, who ended up marrying Tyko Sallinen. While Sallinen went on to become one of the most celebrated artists of his era, her fate was to end up as the face of Mirri, the character featured across many of her husband’s paintings. Helmi Vartiainen herself remained unknown, her artistic career going unfulfilled. This exhibition includes her rarely seen Self-portrait.
Eero Järnefelt painted his famous A Day in July in the Savo region of Finland in summer 1891. The painting features two local children, Kusti-Pekka Kekäläinen and his sister Mari. In his memoirs, he recalls how he and his sister couldn’t understand why the artist kept adjusting their poses and moving them from rock to rock during the painting process. Just a few years later, Järnefelt re-visited the painting, eliminating the figure of the little girl entirely.