Tiepolo − Venice in the North
17.9.2020 – 10.1.2021
The fame of the Italian master Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo (1696−1770) spread across Europe early in the 18th century. He soon attracted the attention of great art collectors. Although Giovanni Battista Tiepolo never travelled to Russia or Scandinavia, his paintings did. It is a testimony to the strength of his art that his paintings, drawings and etchings enjoyed a continuous popularity on the art market all through the 19th century and well into the 20th century.
For the first time ever in Finland, the exhibition will bring together more than twenty oil paintings, drawings and etchings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his son Domenico. Masterpieces from important museum collections in Scandinavia, Russia, Great Britain and Italy will highlight the successful dissemination of the art of Tiepolo to the most northern parts of Europe. The exhibition focuses on people, events and the fascinating stories behind the art works.
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.
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.
Albert Edelfelt and the Romanovs
This exhibition focuses on Albert Edelfelt’s lesser-known works related to the Russian Imperial family. The centrepiece is a portrait of Alexander III’s nephews, The Grand Dukes Boris and Kirill Vladimirovich as Children (1881) from the Rybinsk Art Museum collection. This painting, long thought to be lost, is being shown for the first time in Finland. Also on display are other captivating portraits of children from the Romanov family. The exhibition includes oil paintings, sketches and letters from the artist. The exhibition has been arranged together with the Finnish Institute in Saint Petersburg. The curator is the institute’s director, Sani Kontula-Webb.
Lucas Cranach – Renaissance Beauties
26.9.2019 ─ 5.1.2020
Renaissance Beauties is the first monographic exhibition in Finland on the oeuvre of the great German Renaissance master Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472−1553). The works on display include paintings and prints from the collections of European museums. The paintings in the collections of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Portrait of a Young Woman (1525) and Lucretia (1530), are the only works by Lucas Cranach in Finland. They represent popular themes in the artist’s oeuvre: female portraits and beauties, both rendered in a personal and recognizable style. These works constitute the starting point for the exhibition. Read more about recent research on these works in the web magazine FNG Research >>
Cranach’s fascinating and enigmatic paintings have spoken to artists over the ages. Among the best-known examples are probably the interpretations by Picasso, represented in the exhibition by some prints. A present-day perspective on the handsome jewellery depicted in Cranach’s works is offered by a number of impressive items created by German jewellery artists.
The Sinebrychoff Brewing Family
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.
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.
Moved to Tears: Staging Emotions
13 September 2018 – 3 March 2019
Throughout the centuries, painting and theatre have inspired each other. Both art forms portray and arouse feelings, expressing them through means such as expressions and poses. Some visual artists have had extremely close relationships with the theatre world, as many of them have also designed theatre sets and painted portraits of well-known actors. Popular plays and fateful performances of their day have inspired artists as themes, while dramatic paintings of landscapes, storms and shipwrecks have served as models for many theatrical sets.
The exhibition Moved to Tears: Staging Emotions presents compositional methods derived from the theatrical world, dating back to the seventeenth century. The exhibition’s works demonstrate the powerful cultural impact that theatre has had on various genres of art throughout Europe. The exhibition ushers the viewer into a magical world of visual art and theatre. The exhibition is curated by French art historian Laura Gutman.
Christmas at the house museum − Festive table settings
December 1, 2018 to February 3, 2019
The dinner table in the dining room is set with an extremely fine French porcelain service manufactured by Sèvres in the mid-1800s. A coffee table has been set in the Gustavian Room with cups in the shape of a rose from the Russian Kuznetsov factory. The golden-hued Empire Room displays a table set with tea cups featuring a floral design and gilt detailing in Rococo Revival style by the Russian Kornilov Brothers. The Christmas tree in the main hall is hung with roses made of crepe paper, gold lametta and ribbons with the Latin text Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest Heaven).
These festive table settings in the style of the late 19th century were designed in cooperation with the Sinebrychoff Art Museum Friends with expert assistance from Kari-Paavo Kokki.
Piranesi – Speaking Ruins
The great Italian graphic master Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–78) did not originally plan to become a professional artist. He initially studied to be an architect before moving on to graphic art. Piranesi’s wide-ranging education, curious nature and powerful imagination, combined with his technical skill in graphics, led to unprecedented results. Piranesi created completely new visions of familiar sites in Rome – as well as a new way to depict landscapes.
Piranesi’s oeuvre includes more than 1,000 graphic works. His best-known graphic series are Vedute di Roma and Carceri d’invenzione. Both series are represented in this exhibition, which includes 16 graphic prints from the Sinebrychoff Art Museum’s collections.
In addition to graphic works, the exhibition features a video projection in which the Carceri d’invenzione series has been converted into a nearly tangible real-life space though 3D modelling technology. Watching the video has been described as ‘entering Piranesi’s mind’.
The Lure of Italy and the Orient – Ippolito Caffi
Ippolito Caffi was an Italian painter famous for his landscapes and urban views. He was also an adventurer and a patriot.
Ippolito Caffi (Belluno 1809–1866 Lissa) was a representative and innovator of the veduta tradition. His admiration for Canaletto is apparent in the luminous and translucent quality of his early seascapes and architectural subjects. Caffi would go on to win acclaim for his mist-shrouded landscapes executed in an intense and romantic style. In Caffi’s hands, a nocturnal cityscape could be transformed into a theatrical stage where the main role was played not by the buildings but by a mysterious and dream-like glow of light.
The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through Venice, Rome, Naples, Athens, Constantinople and other cities of the Orient. Always determined to keep off the well-trodden path, Ippolito Caffi was an adventurer, who pursued far-flung destinations, even when it meant taking risks. His paintings, watercolours and drawings of Egypt, Syria and Jerusalem take us to places that were not part of the classic Grand Tour.
Caffi was also a fervent Italian patriot. He joined the Venetian revolt against Austria, losing his life in 1866 during the Battle of Lissa when the Re d’Italia ship sank in the Adriatic Sea.
Read more about Ippolito Caffi’s life(PDF) >>
This exhibition comprises 73 paintings and a selection of 15 watercolours and drawings from the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia collection.
Terribilis est locus iste
21 SEPTEMBER 2017 – 28 JANUARY 2018
The Italian photographic artist Andrea Angione’s exhibition Terribilis est locus iste features eight large scale works. The ordinary people of the streets are the real protagonists of these dramatic pieces, which show great technical virtuosity and refer in a bold manner to Caravaggio and other Old Masters of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Andrea Angione was born in Orbetello (Tuscany) in 1977. After he graduated he took his first steps as a director and made several short films. He studied dramaturgy, direction and photography at the Cinema School of Grosseto and at the Cinema National School in Florence. In 2006 he won the first prize at Capalbio Cinema contest in the junior category, as director of the short film Insieme (Together), which was a co-working project with the pupils of a primary-school class.
Working in the area of film and cinematography led to digital photography and he soon developed a remarkable personal technique, in which painting and photography fuse completely into each other. Angione´s use of light emphasizes the dramatic and symbolic content of his art works.
After his first exhibition as a photographer, Terribilis est locus iste (Porto Ercole, 2009), he received the opportunity to show his works at Palazzo Barberini in Rome (2009) and at Galleria Permanente in Milan (2009). The same year he won the important award Premio Arte Mondadori (1 Prize, photography category). Two further exhibitions – Nec spe nec metu(Porto Ercole, 2010) and Fortitudo Mea in Luce (Capalbio, 2011) – put him in the spotlight and were greatly appreciated by the audience as well as the critics.
I am not I – Famous and Forgotten Portraits
The exhibition I am not I approaches portraiture through a range of different themes and perspectives, while also providing an insight into the history and development of the genre. Themes explored include power and identity as well as memories and their preservation. The works on display cover the full range of portraiture, from imposing portrayal of royals and other powerful figures to intimate depictions of families, along with artists’ own self-portraits. In addition to well-known persons and notable figures of their day, the exhibition features not only portraits of people whose identities have faded into obscurity over the years, but also portraits that for some other reason have been consigned to oblivion.
The time period covered by the exhibition extends from the 16th century until present day. The works include some of the earliest known portraits, the Fayum funerary masks, which were painted on wood during the subject’s lifetime and later placed over the mummy’s face.
The exhibition includes several rare works that have not previously been displayed in public, including Lorens Pasch the Younger’s (1733–1805) portrait of King Gustav III of Sweden (1783). The Royal High Court of Vaasa was founded in 1776 and to mark the occasion, King Gustav III donated his portrait to the institution. It is currently displayed in the court’s main chamber, and normally accessible to only a few people.
The exhibition also features highlights that will remain on display for a limited period only. The first highlight is a series of works themed around former President of Finland, Urho Kekkonen, including a portrait by Ilya Glazunov from 1973, self-portraits created under the tutelage of Finnish artist Kimmo Pyykkö as well as a further self-portrait from 1975. The Urho Kekkonen highlights will be on display 8 June–3 September 2017.
The second highlight is a portrait of former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, painted by Rafael Wardi. It will be on display as part of the exhibition 5 September–29 October 2017. The third highlight comprises portraits of a further two former Finnish presidents, Carl Gustaf Mannerheim and P. E. Svinhufvud painted by Eero Järnefelt. These can be viewed 31 October–31 December 2017.
The exhibition will be complemented by a catalogue exploring the works and themes from a range of new and fresh perspectives. The contributors are Finnish and international experts in their field.
Artworks have been received on loan from private and public collections as well as the Finnish National Gallery’s own collection. The exhibition is part of the official programme on the centenary of Finland’s independence.
100 years 100 images – Hannu Pakarinen
Photo artist Hannu Pakarinen travelled across Finland on the country’s centenary year, photographing people born between 1917 and 2017, one person for each year of independence. Together, the portraits and the subjects’ life stories paint a contemporaneous picture of Finland today. The years and the people recount the story of Finland as an independent nation, with all those involved presented as heroes.
“I have photographed and interviewed one hundred Finnish citizens born between 1917 and 2017, one person for each year of independence. My approach is informed by the road photography tradition. During this project, I have toured Finland with my camera, in a bid to capture the essence of Finnishness and in search of some of the major issues of our time. The people featured in these photographs have been chosen at random, although I have sought to make sure that, together, they are representative of society as a whole. What I have set out to do is create a contemporary snapshot of Finland that also incorporates our wider historical context. This is not purely about taking a subjective or contemporary art approach to history, it is also about exploring people’s dreams and memories, and their ideas about what constitutes ‘the good life’. The portraits and the autobiographical texts created by my subjects also invite the viewer to consider what life between the East and the West was like. I believe my work has genuine value as a social, documentary and scientific record of Finland and Finnishness in 2017.” Hannu Pakarinen.
The exhibition will be complemented by a photo book titled “minä/sinä/me” and 101 Finnish portraits –website.
The exhibition is part of the official programme on the centenary of Finland’s independence.
Caesar van Everdingen − Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt
Caesar van Everdingen (1616/1617–1678) from the Dutch city of Alkmaar was, in his own time, a highly regarded virtuoso painter and grand master of Dutch classicism. However, he would later become overshadowed by his contemporary Rembrandt, along with many other 17th century Dutch painters. Caesar van Everdingen has now been rediscovered as an outstanding painter of his time, and his oeuvre, considered by experts to be one of the finest from the era, is undergoing a re-evaluation.
Caesar van Everdingen created handsome portraits of the bourgeoisie along with stunning historical scenes and sensuous representations of mythological scenes. He used his exceptional flair with the brush to conjure the softness of velvet, the sheen of fine furs and the gleam of expensive dress fabrics onto his canvases.
Caesar van Everdingen’s first ever monographic exhibition was launched in Alkmaar’s Stedelijk Museum in September 2016, four hundred years after the artist’s birth. The exhibition marked the culmination of many years of research and conservation, and represented a significant event for the Dutch art scene. The exhibition presents 28 paintings, half of the artist’s known output. Its pièce de résistance is a stunning, large-scale civic guard group portrait sized at 201 x 350 cm depicting bourgeois members of Alkmaar society.
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum in Alkmaar.
ICONS – HOLY, BEAUTIFUL AND SECULAR
16.4.2016 − 30.4.2017
In the atmospheric Red Cellar, Russian icons will be exhibited in both art historical and religious contexts. The themes include depicting Christ, Mother of God and saints in icon art as well as the significance of icons as part of the orthodox prayer life. Visitors can also learn about the techniques of icon painting and challenges in the dating of old icons. The icons belong to the collections of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum, the oldest of them dating back to the 16th century.
Still Life – The World on Display
What did ”the good life” mean in the 17th century Netherlands? What meanings did people attach to food, flowers and everyday objects?
The exhibition explores the concept of the good life from different points of view such as morality, abundance and transience. Many of the themes still remain valid to this day. The exhibition comprises some 50 still lifes from the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, dating back to the 16th–18th centuries. The exhibition also includes contemporary works of art that comment the current themes.
The still life as an art form gained an unprecedented popularity in the 17th century when the Protestant Netherlands’ wealthy bourgeoisie began to acquire art. This popularity was also reflected in the wealth of subjects depicted in the paintings. These ranged from everyday foodstuffs to rich and abundant depictions of game and luxury imported goods, such as lemons and seashells, that revelled in their masterful material qualities.
The Netherlands’ dominance of the world markets meant that the still lifes commonly featured exciting and never-before-seen items, which served to boost the social status of their owners. Advances in plant science gave rise to lush and beautiful flower arrangements, rich in symbolic meaning. New tulip varieties, in a range of vibrant colours, were subject to feverish trade activity – right up until the bubble burst. In response to rising levels of material wealth and well-being, a public discourse on morality and restraint became an important feature of Dutch culture. The skull, originally depicted for medical purposes, became a staple element in the vanitas paintings reminded of the transience of the life, earthly material abundance.
The Rolando and Siv Pieraccini Collection
2 June – 4 September 2016
The summer exhibition at Sinebrychoff Art Museum will focus on prints and drawings by the famous Venetian masters, the Tiepolos. Rolando and Siv Pieraccini’s unique Tiepolo Collection features works by Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo (1696−1770) as well as his sons Giovanni Domenico (Giandomenico) Tiepolo (1727−1804) and Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo (1736−1776).
Giambattista’s works were highly sought after by the royalty and nobility of the day. Together, the father and sons set up a highly prolific workshop, which received commissions from churches and palaces across Europe. The Tiepolos worked for the Spanish royal court between 1762 and 1770, until the death of Giambattista. Some of the works in this exhibition relate to the larger commissions in the Tiepolo oeuvre.
The Tiepolos were also highly skilled printmakers, with Giandomenico and Lorenzo studying the technique, along with drawing, at their father’s studio. This exhibition features some of the best-known prints ever created by the Tiepolos, including the full series of Giambattista Tiepolo’s Capricci (1741−1742) etchings, first shown in public during the artist’s life time. Ever present in these prints and sketches are the airy lightness of the Venetian masters’ compositional style and the soaring dynamism of their lines, as well as their playful approach to the fantastical and the freshness with which they interpret more traditional motifs.
Russian masters – from Aivazovsky to Repin
11 February – 8 May 2016
The exhibition will provide a cross-section of 19th century Russian art from romantic landscapes to realistic portraits. The works include elaborate seascapes, serene rural scenes, folk tale motifs and portraits. Works from about thirty artists from Finnish art collections will be on display as well as pieces from private collections shown in public for the first time.
The early 19th century was a restless time in Russia. Democracy and radical thinking were gaining ground. A wide social campaign arose for the abolition of serfdom. Artists also participated actively in the public debate. They started to take an interest in their own era and the Russian people. In the exhibition, artists representing that time are Sylvester Shchedrin, Ivan Aivazovsky, Alexey Bogolyubov and Karl Bryullov.
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817−1900) was a Russian Romantic landscape painter. He was fascinated by extreme weather conditions and the sea in all its manifestations. The Bay of Naples (1844) is a romantic seascape depicting a drowsy, almost stagnant ambience at sunset.
In the latter half of the 19th century, nearly all significant Russian artists belonged toPeredvizhniki, the Wanderers. The founders of the movement left the Imperial Academy of Arts and formed an artists’ cooperative free of academic restrictions. These wandering artists reformed Russian fine arts into a more realistic direction. Their works started to show social criticism and a strong political dimension. The Wanderers were not accepted to exhibit their art in galleries. Instead, they brought art to people and organised their own travelling exhibitions in the countryside in 1870−1923.
Our exhibition includes interpretations of the notion of landscape of the time by some of these wandering artists, such as Isaac Levitan, Ivan Shishkin, Vasily Polenov and Mikhail Clodt. Ivan Shishkin’s (1832−1898) favourite topic was the forest. Analytical studies of nature were typical of his art. His works seem very real with the peaceful atmosphere of the forest.
The exhibition has several works by Ilya Repin (1844−1930): paintings, watercolours and drawings. Repin depicted his surroundings in a deliciously exuberant and direct way without shunning social criticism. Scytheman (1876) is a good example of Repin’s portrayal of rural life. The man with the scythe looks confident and thoughtful, like he has faith in the future. He has interrupted his work for some reason, and the left knee of his pants is muddy.
Moreover, a privately owned high-quality collection of Ilya Repin’s pen and ink drawings will be exhibited for the first time since it was shown in Ateneum Art Museum twenty years ago.
Traces of the Past
8.10.2015 – 31.1.2016
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum exhibits the works of an Italian artist Livio Ceschin (born 1962) along with the works of old masters – they have offered the artist a source of inspiration. All 27 prints of Livio Ceschin belong to the Pieraccini Collection. The collection donated to the Ateneum Art Museum by Rolando and Siv Pieraccini presents mainly Italian graphic art, drawings and watercolour. The works of the old masters belong to the Sinebrychoff Art Museum Collections.
Livio Ceschin preserves in many ways the tradition of Italian and European printmaking in his work. In their technical sophistication and tonal richness, Ceschin’s prints represent the apex of contemporary Italian printmaking. He began making prints by studying the work of the great masters. His first two etchings from 1991 are both entitled Omaggio a Canaletto (Homage to Canaletto). Some other early works are his interpretations of prints by Rembrandt and Gianbattista Tiepolo.
One of the main characteristics of Ceschin’s work is the aim of showing time and its passage. The texts establish a link to history and the past. The passage of time is also associated with memory. It is the subtle, nuanced rendering of memory and old thoughts that give many of Ceschin’s works their quiet, melancholy atmosphere. Silence is an important element.
Interest in Ceschin has grown internationally, particularly in the 2000s. He has works in many museums and collections, including the Albertina in Vienna, the British Museum in London, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. In 2014 he had an important one-man show in the Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam as the first invited Italian printmaker in the museum.
TAIDESALONKI ‒ KONSTSALONGEN
8.10.2015 – 10.1.2016
Taidesalonki Art Gallery in Helsinki is the oldest still functioning art gallery in Finland. Leonard Bäcksbacka (1892–1963) established the gallery in 1915. The 100th anniversary exhibition in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum will be showcasing the early days of Taidesalonki and the interests of Leonard Bäcksbacka. Apart from dealing in art, the gallery also specialized in selling antiques. The curator of the exhibition is PhD Christina Bäcksbacka. She has also edited a book about the early days of Taidesalonki to be published this autumn.
The exhibition in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum forms a part of a series of exhibitions, two of which will focus on representing more recent Finnish art. The exhibitions will be open at the same time in Helsinki Art Museum HAM and in the current location of Taidesalonki gallery on Bulevardi Street in Helsinki.
ROCOCO – NORDIC INTERPRETATIONS
Berndtson, Edelfelt, Watteau
The summer exhibition of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum offers perspectives into 19th century interpretations of Rococo, and views the phenomenon in the wider context of admiration of the 18th century in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Albert Edelfelt, Gunnar Berndtson and Carl Larsson portrayed the period with sophistication and joyful lightness – giving an illusion of an age rediscovered.
The exhibition is curated by Laura Gutman, a French art historian. There is a strong narrative in the exhibition, helping viewers identify similar characteristics in paintings, costumes and furniture, whether they represent original Rococo, Neo-Rococo or their modern interpretations.
In the Nordic countries, the Rococo did not have such a strong image of frivolity as elsewhere, having more emphasis on the ideas of the Enlightenment philosophers. In Finland, historical links to Sweden were emphasised during a time when Russia tightened its grip of the Grand Duchy of Finland. Neo-Rococo was a political stand against the russification measures.
The original Rococo period is represented in the exhibition by Antoine Watteau, Alexander Roslin and Jean-Baptiste Pater, among others. The real star of the exhibition is ”Les Amateurs de peinture” (1860), the painting by the French master Ernest Meissonier (1815‒1891), on loan from the Musée d’Orsay. It is regarded as the model for Gunnar Berndtson’s ”Art Connoisseurs in the Louvre” (1879). Other important paintings are on loan also from the Louvre and the National Museum of Denmark.
The Rococo costumes and wigs attracted attention. The precious costumes were so desirable in the 18th century that Gustaf III introduced a national costume in Sweden in an effort to discourage squandering money on them. The heavily taxed, sumptuous costumes were rare in Sweden and Finland. Also on display in the exhibition are a Rococo costume from the 1760s from the collection of Livrustkammaren in Stockholm and Rococo-inspired wigs by the artist Helena Hietanen. The decorations of the tall wigs, such as eggs perched on their tops, are references to the exuberance of the Rococo style.
Articles by Laura Gutman and Maria Vainio-Kurtakko in the exhibition publication Neo-Rococo and the North [MR1] present perspectives into the art and ideas of the era in the Nordic countries.
The exhibition is put together in cooperation with the Serlachius museums.
GÖSTA & PAUL
Collections Face to Face
In the exhibition ”Gösta and Paul”, the old masters of Gösta Serlachius (1876-1942) are in dialogue with works of another passionate art collector Paul Sinebrychoff (1859-1917). Dialogue is held not only between the collections as a whole but also between individual pairs of works of art.
The exhibition approaches the works of art through stories. The stories arise, among other things, from histories of the acquisition of the works, collectors’ thoughts about them, and their significance within the collections. Letters and other interesting archive material relating to the works have been used as source material. We have selected pairs of works from six artists in the exhibition: Alessandro Allori, David Teniers the younger, Frans Hals (now Unknown artist), Anthonisz van Ravesteyn, Jan Verspronck and Cornelis de Vos.
Gösta Serlachius’ most intensive period of collecting of old masters took place in the first decades of the 20th century, particularly in the 1920s and the 1930s. Paul Sinebrychoff started collecting art already in the 1880s. Paul Sinebrychoff died in 1917, only two years before Gösta Serlachius’ art collection was on display publicly for the first time in an exhibition held in the Ateneum Art Museum in 1919. The same year, Serlachius acquired his first old master, the painting Philosopher by David Teniers the younger. We wonder if the passionate art collectors knew each other?
Both collectors were particularly interested in portraits. Different genres of Dutch portraits, from monumental court portraits to intimate family portraits, are well represented in the Serlachius collection. The collection has a wide geographical coverage; in addition to Dutch works, it includes art from England, Italy, France and Spain. Paul Sinebrychoff started off by collecting Swedish portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries, often those of notable historical figures, and also miniatures and pastels. Later, he also became interested in Dutch portraits.
It would not be a big surprise if Gösta and Paul had known each other; after all, they shared the same passion. Now, over a hundred years later, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum brings their collections together. They will help us peek through the curtains of history into the fascinating world of these collectors.
Antiquity has always fascinated artists, and sculptors in particular. Towards the end of the 18th century, imitating “old” art became considered as the only way to achieve greatness in art. Greek sculptures were especially seen as sources of the antique ideal of beauty. In the 18th century, these idealised sculptures formed a set imagery, a canon, the knowledge of which was regarded as a part of people’s general knowledge at the time.
At the centre of the Statuesque exhibition are neoclassical sculptures of the following North European artists: Johan Tobias Sergel (1740–1818) from Sweden, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844) and Vilhelm Bissen (1836–1913) from Denmark, Emil Wolff (1802–1879) from Germany and Walter Runeberg (1838–1920) and Johannes Takanen (1849–1885) from Finland.
The exhibition also displays small sculptures that follow the antique canon, such as The Laocoön Group, Hera Ludovisi, Medici Venus and Dancing Faun. Affluent home owners in Finland acquired these small statues of antique beauty in the hope that they would be seen as signs of their good breeding and taste.
The 18th Century Observed
Pehr Hilleström portrayed the whole strata of life in the Gustavian period: the life and ceremonies of the court, idle young ladies in elegant drawing rooms, servant girls carrying on with their domestic tasks, theatre, peasant culture, foundries and mines. Pehr Hilleström’s work has never been exhibited this widely in Finland. The exhibition has been created in cooperation with the Nationalmuseum of Stockholm.
TRAVELLING WITH WOMEN
Pictures from the Collection of the Ateneum Art Museum
The exhibition tells the story of Finnish female artists travelling abroad through the works they created there. Some of the most beloved works of Helene Schjerfbeck, Maria Wiik, Elin Danielson-Gambogi, Ellen Thesleff, Sigrid Schauman and many others are displayed in this exhibition.
The exhibition has been created in collaboration with the Ateneum Art Museum.
ANIMALS IN THE SINEBRYCHOFF ART MUSEUM
Animals in the Sinebrychoff Art Museum is a family event. A total of 67 Dutch 17th-century prints featuring pigs, cows, sheep and horses have been chosen from the museum’s collections for display. Seafaring was the primary source of prosperity in the Dutch society at that date, but also agriculture and cattle farming contributed to the general well-being. Domestic animals were popular subjects with artists, together with peasant and bourgeois life, with its daily chores and village feasts. Certain more exotic animals, such as camels, bears and eagles also played a role.
TREES ARE POEMS
Kristoffer Albrecht, Taneli Eskola, Ritva Kovalainen & Pentti Sammallahti
Trees are key elements in landscape art. This exhibition offers a universal perspective to these elements through the stories and atmospheres represented by individual trees and the places where they grow. In all cultures, the representation of trees opens up a colourful prism of multiple emotions arising from various beliefs and various aspects of life, from loneliness and group dynamics. Trees depicted at different moments can be seen as both an element of the landscape and a symbol of human existence.
The Sinebrychoff collections comprise numerous paintings and prints with tree motifs. Since trees feature extensively in the work of the exhibition’s four photo artists, this offers an excellent opportunity to benefit from the potential of combining older art forms with later ones.
In this exhibition, two different hangings enter into a dialogue: one from the museum’s collection of old art, the other featuring light, sound and technology. The historical imagery displayed here is not arranged according to era, style or artist – it is looking for a completely different system of arrangement. Established categories ‘leak’, and if you follow these leaks they can take you to the outskirts of Great Historical Themes. The outcasts from a museum collection, copies by unknown artists and reproductions, works in poor condition and those not falling into any particular classification become a starting point for new links with the future. Ghosts start appearing, when the present moment becomes dirty, broken, old fashioned and sick – like an old house that needs to be demolished. But let’s leave old houses alone and deconstruct the spell under which the structures of these works lie.
THE RENOWNED COMMODORE NICOLAS SINEBRYCHOFF CHALLENGE TROPHY
Sinebrychoff Art Museum opens in conjunction with the Tall Ships Races an exhibition where the public has the opportunity to become acquainted with the world’s second oldest sports prize that is still competed for, the Commodore Nicolas Sinebrychoff Challenge Trophy. Nicolas Sinebrychoff, an active sailor, member and Commodore of Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) donated the trophy that bears his name in connection with NJK’s 25th anniversary in 1886. Since 1888, the trophy has been given as a prize for the Nicolas Sinebrychoff Challenge Cup winner. The trophy was designed by Oskar Kleineh and is on display in the exhibition alongside a portrait of Nicolas Sinebrychoff painted by Albert Edelfelt, Oscar Kleineh ink drawings and watercolors and other maritime objects.
MICHELANGELO AND THE SISTINE CHAPEL
Drawings and Artworks from Casa Buonarroti, Florence
Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel is the first exhibition in Finland of work by Italy’s great Renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti. It has been set up in collaboration with the Michelangelo Museum of Casa Buonarroti in Florence. The exhibition features 12 drawings, all sketches for the artist’s greatest masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. These surviving sketches reflect the artist’s creative process, combining live models with the idealized anatomy of classical sculpture.
A ROMANTIC VIEW
The Rademakers Collection
The art collection of author, television producer and art lover Jef Rademakers (b. 1949) includes more than a hundred paintings from the Romantic Era. A total of 70 works from this collection are currently on display at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum. They open up romantic perspectives on Dutch and Flemish art of the mid-19th century. On display at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum are the central themes of the period: portraits, still lifes, genre paintings and landscapes depicting the countryside and sea as well as towns.
Master of the Copper Plate
The exhibition presents the graphic etchings by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn from the unique Rovinsky collection of the State Hermitage Museum. All 55 exhibited works belong to the graphics collection of a Russian Master of laws, Dmitry Rovinsky, and they have never before been seen abroad. The selection of the art pieces and research on the exhibition are based on the research of Doctor Roman Grigoryev. He has researched the materials of the Rembrandt graphics; the reason which made the works of Rembrandt so unique. In addition to the Rovinsky Collection, the exhibition also presents the graphic etchings by the pupils and peers of Rembrandt from the collections of Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
Shadows and Reflections
The exhibition displays 35 pictures from the series Shadows and Reflections by photographic artist Jorma Puranen (b. 1951, Pyhäjoki), taken at Sinebrychoff Art Museum in 1999–2011. The photographs displayed are accompanied by the 17th and the 18th century aristocratic and bourgeois portraits on which they were based. Puranen started photographing his series in 1991, when the reflections on the surfaces of the museum’s oil paintings captured his interest while he was working on another project.
The series Shadows and Reflections challenges the conventional idea of a good photograph. In Puranen’s pictures, the faces of the models fade into the background, while the interplay of light and shadow replaces familiarity with a feeling of enhanced sensitivity and alienation, with a dynamic tension between the fleeting moment and the centuries-old static state of the paintings. His works question the relationships between the portrait, the model and photography, and the way we tend to understand the image through their medium chosen to portray it.
Paintings and Photographic Art by Taneli Eskola
The Garden Pictures – exhibition weaves together images of paradise in painting and photography. The garden motif has a long tradition in art history. The theme is explored through some of our best-loved paintings and classic prints. The gardens emerge as evocations of period atmosphere and real, tangible places and as expressions of Taneli Eskola’s own art.
C-G Hagström’s photographs of Finland’s great and good
The 50th anniversary exhibition marking the work of the photographer Carl Gustaf Hagström presents a rare collection of portraits of influential figures in recent Finnish history; artists, actors, writers, composers and politicians. In its entirety, the exhibition comprises more than 120 images. Among the personalities featured are Tove Jansson, Tauno Palo, Arvo Ylppö, Pentti Saarikoski, Tommy Tabermann, Kari Suomalainen, Adolf Ehrnrooth, Sylvi Kekkonen, Matti Pellonpää and Armi Ratia.
NATURE AS A TEACHER
Landscape Painting in Düsseldorf
When talking about open-air painting in general, Italy and France are normally regarded as the forerunners. However, artists in Germany also became interested in drawing and painting studies directly from nature at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In Düssedorf, artists made wandering and painting trips not only in the surroundings of the city, but also farther south along the river Rhine as well as to the mountain ranges of Eifel and Harz. They drew and painted wide panoramic views from the mountain tops, and close-ups of castle ruins, as well as trees, brooks, plants, stones and topographic features of the Earth on these trips. In fact, German landscape painting shows how the development of natural sciences influenced the idea of landscape in the nineteenth century.
In Finland and Sweden, public gaze was focused on Düsseldorf as a result of the Nordic Art Exhibition which was arranged at the Royal Academy in Stockholm in 1850. The exhibition presented works of artists who had studied or who were working in Düsseldorf, and the landscapes of the Norwegian artists Hans Gude and August Cappelen attracted most attention. Inspired by the exhibition, Werner Holmberg was the first prominent Finnish artist who headed for Düsseldorf to study landscape painting there. Anders Ekman, Victoria Åberg, Berndt Lindholm, Hjalmar Munsterhjelm, Fanny Churberg and Victor Westerholm were among others who travelled to Düsseldorf following in his suit.
Rubens, Jordaens, Brueghel – Baroque Art from Antwerp
Juha van Ingen, Sirpa Jokinen, Sanna Sarva and Kari Yli-Annala
SUMMER EXHIBITION 2010
Selections from the Collection
The Mystery of the Two Saint Francis in Meditation
The Feast of Masks