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Your position: Home > Styles by Artists > Romanticism-(1790-1880) > Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (26 April 1865 - 7 March 1931) was a Swedish-speaking Finnish painter who is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic (illustration, below). His work was considered very important for the Finnish national identity. He changed his name from Gallen to Gallen-Kallela in 1907.
Gallen-Kallela was born Axel Waldemar Gallén in Pori, Finland in a Swedish-speaking family. His father Peter Gallén worked as police chief and lawyer.[1] At the age of 11 he was sent to Helsinki to study at a grammar school, because his father opposed his ambition to become a painter. After his father's death in 1879, Gallen-Kallela attended drawing classes at the Finnish Art Society (1881-4) and studied privately under Adolf von Becker.
In 1884 he moved to Paris, to study at the Académie Julian. In Paris he became friends with the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt, the Norwegian painter Adam Dörnberger, and the Swedish writer August Strindberg.

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