"Lake Keitele" by Anne Robbins

Lake Keitele Akseli Gallen-Kallela Anne Robbins

Publication date:
15 Nov 2017
National Gallery London
72 pages: 241 x 267mm
35 color + b-w illus.

Relatively unknown outside of his homeland, Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931) was a leading figure in modern Finnish painting and the decorative arts. This publication focuses on four versions of his shimmering depictions of Lake Keitele (1904–5), showing them for the first time in the context of Gallen-Kallela’s output. It retraces through analysis of a dozen works, from public and private Finnish collections, the genesis of this particular stylized lake composition in the early 1880s, and its persistence throughout the artist’s oeuvre until well into the 1920s. Anne Robbins examines the abstract and modernist pictures of Lake Keitele in the light of the international avant-gardes with which Gallen-Kallela was in contact and places him as a key figure in the development of early 20th-century Modernism. 

Anne Robbins is associate curator of post-1800 paintings at the National Gallery, London.