Contemplative Line

Lac Keitele, Akseli Gallen-Kallela  



Lac Keitele [Keitele], 1905

Oil on canvas, 53 × 66 cm

London, The National Gallery,

bought 1999


Displayed together for the first time, these contemplative variations on the theme of Lake Keitele in Finland,

where the artist stayed from 1904, play on the silver tones of a silent landscape. At a time when Finland was seeking to affirm its identify in the face of Russian domination, the painter also called forth a national myth. The scintillating bands on the surface of the water evoke the wake left by the boat of a hero of the Kalevala, the epic 19th century poem that recounts the country’s founding. Yet the dominant theme here remains the immersion in a timeless nature.


Pori (Finland) 26 April 1865 – Stockholm 7 March 1931

Fore more information about the artist, please click here.

Provenance: The National Gallery, London.