Akseli Gallen-Kallela
Pine in Kalela


Oil on cigar box

20,0 cm x 12,0 cm.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931) had his wilderness studio Kalela built in Ruovesi, on the shore of Lake Näsijärvi, in 1895. The house is surrounded by bedrock and pine forest, whose rocky shores and ancient pine trees the artist often depicted in his work. Pine in Kalela, completed in 1903, is one of a series of wintry paintings by Gallen-Kallela set in Ruovesi. As an indelible part of the national landscape, crooked, snow-covered pine trunks formed a recurrent motif, not only in Gallen-Kallela’s art but also that of many other Finnish artists. In art, the pine tree symbolises endurance and tenacity, so it was a favourite motif for the nationalistic Gallen-Kallela.