Joseph Alanen – Jugend • Kalevala • Tampere
Joseph Alanen (1885–1920) was one of the leading artists to depict subjects from the Kalevala epic.
Joseph Alanen (1885–1920) was one of the leading artists to depict subjects from the Kalevala epic. The Tampere Art Museum will prominently showcase a large selection of his works on subjects from the Kalevala, along with portrayals of folk life, religious subjects, prints and drawings. Alanen’s conception of the Kalevala epic was largely stylised. The characters are formalised, two-dimensional and decorative, with obvious influences from jugend (Art Nouveau). The tempera technique and ornamentality create an impression resembling a tapestry.
Alanen died of the Spanish flu at the age of 35. Despite this, he managed to paint almost a hundred works on subjects and themes from the Kalevala. The son of a foreman of Tampere, Alanen has remained in the margins of art history mostly because no comprehensive exhibition of his work has ever been held.
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