Linnaeus and Glimpses of Paradise

A garden tells a great deal about people and their relation to the environment, as it develops at the interface of nature and culture. Gardens have always served as a mirror of our dreams and worldviews. Every gardener creates a personal paradise.

  • 17.2.–28.8.2022
1st floor
Tickets: with a museum ticket
Various flowers in a blue and white porcelain bowl with a butterfly in the foreground.
Jean-Michel Picart (1600–1682), Still Life of Flowers. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis.

A proper history of gardens in Finland begins with the work of two naturalists, Pehr Kalm (1716–1779) and his teacher Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778). At the time there was a strong link between botanical research and garden art. Gardeners prided themselves with their rare plants.

Gardens have always been a source of wellbeing and joy, with flowers providing both visual and olfactory delight. The use of flowers as symbols or ornaments developed into botanical portraiture in the 17th century. The floral still life was born. Pictures became an important aspect of the study of nature and its illustration. Artists specialising in flower painting – a significant number of them women – also left their mark on botanical publications.