Boy with a Crow, Old Woman with a Cat, the legend of Aino, Symposion, Lemminkäinen’s Mother … such paintings and other works of art by Akseli Gallen-Kallela have become deeply embedded in the national cultural memory in Finland.
The artist was a polyglot who interpreted and utilized many of the trends and styles of his time in his works. He was inspired by the streets and ladies of Paris but later increasingly by the nature in Finland, her scenic wilderness and the legends of the national epic, Kalevala.
This is manifested not only in his paintings but also in the comprehensive and diversified range of his works which include textiles, painted glass, sculpture, posters, illustrations, honorific decorations, uniforms, flags, furniture as well as some buildings. His works are rivalled in fame by his two artistically exceptional homes: Tarvaspää in Espoo and his atelier-in-the-wilderness Kalela in Ruovesi.