Archive for October 22nd, 2013

Jarnefelt-  under-the-yoke-burning-the-brushwoodI had come across some work from a Finnish artist, Eero Jarnefelt (1863-1937),  whose work  I had not seen before,  It was being shown in a list and as I scrolled down the group I was impressed with his style and the quality of the colors and light in his work.  It was beautiful work, thoughtful and filled with a tranquil quality.  But the final image was a hard veer away from the rest of the body of his work, a smoke and fire filled image of people beating the ground with sticks and in the midst of it , a young girl standing still among the smoldering ashes, staring into the eyes of the viewer as the fire blazes over her left shoulder.

It was a striking image and the girl’s face was haunting with her cheeks and brow smudged with ash.  She looks exhausted and mournful which is obviously the look that struck the artist Jarnefelt in 1893 when this was painted and prompted him to title this painting Under the Yoke.  These words are taken from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic which is said to have been the main inspiration for much of JRR Tolkien‘s work.  Finland had long been under yoke of Swedish and Russian domination and the mood from it is captured in this little girl’s forlorn look.

It’s became jarnefelt’s most famous work, understandably.  It only serves to underscore the impression his other work made on me.

Jarenfelt- Kesäyön Kuu 1889 Jarnefelt- Saimi in the Meadow 1892 Jarneflet-  Vesileinikki 1895

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