Heavenly Colours – Blue and Gold


Historically, blue and gold have been among the most precious materials. Due to their brilliance and cost, they have taken on countless meanings. Gold refers to the sun, to God, power and wealth. Blue is the colour of honour and dignity, as well as a symbol of power. In medieval art, gold represented the kingdom of heaven. The Virgin Mary sat on her throne, surrounded by gold and brilliance with heavenly light accentuated against the blue of her robe. Over time, meanings have become more metaphorical. Materials and colours affect our mental associations, memories and emotional experience.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Järvimaisema

Akseli Gallen-Kallela: Lake view, 1901.
Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Kirsi Halkola

The Sinebrychoff Brewing Family

Red Cellar

The brewery established by Nikolai Sinebrychoff (1787/88–1848) in 1819 grew from a small family business to a hugely successful enterprise. The Sinebrychoffs used their vast wealth to benefit others, including the workers at the brewery and Helsinki’s poor. They also gave significant financial support to the arts. The family home is now the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, which displays the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff art collection dating back to the 1890s. The Sinebrychoff Brewing Family exhibition showcases the family’s history, focusing on a collection of family portraits donated by Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. Soon to mark its 200th anniversary, Sinebrychoff is the oldest brewery in the Nordic countries. It is currently owned by the Danish Carlsberg Group.

Anna ja Paul Sinebrychoff lapsineen

Paul and Anna Sinebrychoff with their children. 1860s. Photo Fritz Hjertzell. The Finnish Heritage Agency