Kalevala: the Finnish national epic ~ The first edition of the Kalevala appeared in 1835, compiled and edited by Elias Lönnrot on the basis of the epic folk poems he had collected in Finland and Karelia. This poetic song tradition, sung in an unusual, archaic trochaic tetrametre, had been part of the oral tradition among speakers of Balto-Finnic languages for 2,000 years.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, illustration of Kalevala, the Finnish national epic.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela

One of my favourite artists is Akseli Gallen-Kallela. He was a Finnish romantic period artist who used the recently published Kalevala as his inspiration.

kalevala kuvis - Google-haku

kalevala kuvis - Google-haku

Joukahainen's Revenge by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

uncertaintimes: “ Akseli Gallen Kallela, Joukahainen’s revenge, 1897 (thx) ”

Lemminkäinen is one of the Heroes of the Kalevala. In one myth he drowns in the river of Tuonela (the underworld) in trying to capture/kill the black swan, to win a daughter of Louhi as his wife. In a tale somewhat reminiscent of Isis' search for Osiris, Lemminkäinen's mother searches heaven and earth to find her son. Finally, she learns of his fate and asks Ilmarinen to fashion her a rake of copper with which to dredge her son's body from the river of Tuonela.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 'Lemminkäisen äiti' / 'Mother of Lemminkäinen'…

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Kullervon kirous, 1899. Ateneum, Antell. Kuva: Valtion taidemuseo / Kuvataiteen keskusarkisto / Jouko Könönen. Finland. This is part of national epic of Finland, Kalevala

Akseli Gallen-Kallela - By the River of Tuonela - 1903 Akseli Gallen-Kallela - Boy with a Crow - 1884 Akseli Gallen-Kallela - Kullervo cursing - 1899

kalevala kuvis - Google-haku

kalevala kuvis - Google-haku