Tag Archives: AinoAckten

I switched off the TV, I jumped into my pants, I jumped into my Doc’s, I met Sibelius


I attempted to watch another “new generation” Disney cartoon  today, Simbad.
Fast-fast-fast action, that prevents me from feeling and imagining… COLD

I switched off the TV, I jumped into my pants, I jumped into my Doc Marten’s, I went out, I jumped on a bus: today was the last day of the Sibelius exhibit in Ateneum museum. I still had time to catch it.


… Did you know that beauty in arts can feel violent?
I arrived only 30 minutes before they closed the doors on the exhibit.
In 30 minutes my mind had to open so wide and so fast to so much beauty! that I ended up feeling dizzy.

There was for a start, this painting of a soprano singer – Aino Ackten – whom Sibelius enjoyed working with. She was the first opera singer from Finland to have become famous abroad. Among all the paintings of the exhibit, I felt this one had a peculiar power. The character in it had such a charismatic presence! An enigmatic lady with a secret to tell.

Albert Edelfelt (1804-1905)
by Albert Edelfelt (1804-1905)

I discovered that Sibelius liked to surround himself with painters, poets; all artists who shared his world, up there, settled around the Tuusula lake. One of his closest friends was the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela.. Think about it : several artists, several forms of art, inspired by a same environment, slowly shaping an artistic identity for Finland.

Jean Sibelius  8/12/1865 – 20/09/1957 source: hs.fi
Jean Sibelius 8/12/1865-20/09/1957

To Eero Järnefelt – Sibelius’ brother in law, the landscape of Koli inspired this painting.

Eero Järnefelt, Maisema Kolilta, 1928
Eero Järnefelt, Maisema Kolilta, 1928

To Sibelius, it inspired his 4th symphony :

Wide spaces, wide pieces of art. ♣

Finland inspired Sibelius with its trees, with its swans, with its landscapes and with its quest for independence, which it acquired in 1917. Sibelius gave back to Finland a voice, made of notes and words. – Have you heard the ‘Finlandia’ symphony?

Inside Ateneum, a footage of an orchestra playing Finlandia.
Inside Ateneum, a footage of an orchestra playing Finlandia.

I was in the main hall, watching and listening to the orchestra playing Sibelius’ music on a wide screen, when I heard the voice that announced the closing of the museum. It had been 30 minutes – only 30 minutes! Yet I felt every particle of me had been fed.