Life Under Threat


Animals are one of the oldest pictorial motifs – known already in prehistoric times. The exhibition presents visions of animals and nature from the 16th century to today. The artworks convey the relationship humans have had with animals and with nature through the ages. How do we perceive these works today? As humans, we also look at ourselves through animals. In the western worldview, animals and nature are viewed as something that exists for humans. In reality, humans are merely a part of the whole. The works in the exhibition examine the journey of humans in and as a part of nature. Understanding co-existence helps to preserve living space both for humans and for all other creatures.

Unknown artist: Flowers and parrots. Finnish National Gallery / Sinebrychoff Art Museum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.

Life Under Threat: Intersections of art and science


In June, a new section will open in the Life Under Threat exhibition. It will examine the points of intersection between art and science in different times and from various perspectives. A travelogue that belongs to the A. E. Nordenskiöld (1832−1901) collection of the National Library of Finland, demonstrates our curiosity and sense of adventure. The book, printed in Amsterdam in 1710, describes an expedition to Svalbard and Greenland made in 1671. Some animal and plant studies from the 16th century to our times are also on display. Film by Sanna Kannisto (b. 1974) shows a genuine encounter between the artist and birds, while offering the viewer an unreal yet enchanting nature experience. The new selection of works is an intriguing addition to the themes presented by the artworks on show on the first floor of the exhibition.

Theodoor van Hoytema: Storks. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Nina Pätilä.