Finland Arts and Sculpture Part I

By | December 17, 2021

Only in the 12th and 13th centuries, when pagan Finland was conquered by the Swedes and civilized by the Roman Catholic Church, did a national art begin to develop, to which the remote northern position, the harsh climate and poverty, the scarcity of colonization in the great virgin forests and, above all, the wars with Russia gave a rough and severe imprint, evident in the medieval fortified castles, massive and unadorned, such as those of Turku (Åbo) and Viipuri (Viborg) of the century. XIII. The numerous medieval churches offer richer forms, which, not without a certain rustic grace, are built at least in a mixed style between Romanesque and Gothic, depending on the construction material (stone eratic) which is difficult to work with. Characteristic is the cubic shape of the square-plan building, the extremely massive masonry, the small windows, the high and steeply sloping roofs. Only the Cathedral of Turku (founded in the 13th century), in brick, differs from this common type with aisles of equal height, to approach the Gothic architecture of the German and French cathedrals.

Most of Finland’s medieval churches are adorned with monumental, colorful, dry-stone frescoes, unfortunately still little studied. No doubt – at least at the end of the Middle Ages – national painters explained their activity in this field; however, the Swedish influence must have been considerable. Even the sacred sculptures, artistically remarkable, of the century. XIII until the middle of the XIV, they were imported first from the island of Gotland, from the interior of Sweden, from Hamburg, from Lübeck and then from Antwerp. For Finland 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.

The artistic tradition, which was forming, was abruptly interrupted in the first half of the century. XVI from the Lutheran Reformation. The church was completely impoverished and there was still no rich indigenous aristocracy that could continue its patronage. Just in the century. XVII numerous churches were built again, but only in timber, and in strict dependence on the peasant architectural tradition. Even the profane buildings, almost suspended due to the continuous wars against Russia, flourished again in the mid-century. XVII. Numerous large castles belong to this period, responding to the reblooming economic conditions of the country, due to the development of the metallurgical industry. Finnish sculpture and painting were also almost unimportant during the 9th century. XVI, but in the following period, when Sweden had acquired and consolidated its power, plastic art, of a monumental and mainly sepulchral nature, and sacred decorative painting, of popular orientation, which, although extended to the whole country, had its center in the Eastern Bothnia. From it also eminent artistic personalities come, such as Elias Brenner (1647-1717), who acquired European fame with his excellent miniature portraits, the brilliant painter Isak Wacklin (1720-58), who worked mainly in Stockholm, London and Petersburg. Among the popular fresco painters of churches, Michael Toppelius (1734-1821) should be remembered first, for the abundant production, the richness of the imagination and the originality. of a monumental and predominantly sepulchral nature, and sacred decorative painting, of popular orientation, which, although extended to the whole country, had its center in eastern Bothnia. From it also eminent artistic personalities come, such as Elias Brenner (1647-1717), who acquired European fame with his excellent miniature portraits, the brilliant painter Isak Wacklin (1720-58), who worked mainly in Stockholm, London and Petersburg. Among the popular fresco painters of churches, Michael Toppelius (1734-1821) should be remembered first, for the abundant production, the richness of the imagination and the originality. of a monumental and predominantly sepulchral nature, and sacred decorative painting, of popular orientation, which, although extended to the whole country, had its center in eastern Bothnia. From it also eminent artistic personalities come, such as Elias Brenner (1647-1717), who acquired European fame with his excellent miniature portraits, the brilliant painter Isak Wacklin (1720-58), who worked mainly in Stockholm, London and Petersburg. Among the popular fresco painters of churches, Michael Toppelius (1734-1821) should be remembered first, for the abundant production, the richness of the imagination and the originality. From it also eminent artistic personalities come, such as Elias Brenner (1647-1717), who acquired European fame with his excellent miniature portraits, the brilliant painter Isak Wacklin (1720-58), who worked mainly in Stockholm, London and Petersburg. Among the popular fresco painters of churches, Michael Toppelius (1734-1821) should be remembered first, for the abundant production, the richness of the imagination and the originality. From it also eminent artistic personalities come, such as Elias Brenner (1647-1717), who acquired European fame with his excellent miniature portraits, the brilliant painter Isak Wacklin (1720-58), who worked mainly in Stockholm, London and Petersburg. Among the popular fresco painters of churches, Michael Toppelius (1734-1821) should be remembered first, for the abundant production, the richness of the imagination and the originality.

In the first half of the century. XIX, after the Russian conquest of Finland, architecture once again occupied a preponderant position. Carl Ludwig Engel (1778-1840), born in Germany and called to Finland in 1814, was at the head of this reborn architectural activity, which took place under the influence of Palladian classicism; he must be considered the founder of modern Finnish architecture. Its multifaceted activity, its abundant production, supported by a severe and harmonious style, culminated in the master plan of the new capital Helsinki, and in the monumental buildings: the university, the university library and the government building (1818-32). The second half of the century XIX was dominated by a general eclecticism, and the architects GI Chiewitz, Finland Sjöström, K. Th. Höjer and CG Nystrom. In the early years of the twentieth century, a romantic-national current was once again established, inspired by medieval sacred architecture, whose main representatives were Lars Sonck, Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen. Later Saarinen, who now works predominantly in America, became the leader of the current classical reaction, culminating in Johan Sirén’s grandiose Helsinki Parliament, which ended in 1931.

Finland Sculpture