Van Gogh to Kandinsky - Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 exhibition has now opened in Edinburgh. The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the National Gallery of Finland. Before the opening in Edinburgh, the exhibition attracted 400,000 visitors in Amsterdam. In November, it will continue its journey to Helsinki.
There is something magical about a bright night which keeps us awake on the boarder of sleep and dreams and awakening. Landscape is a universal language. Landscape also evokes different emotions and entices different interpretations. Landscape is a place for mystery.
Landscapes are stages in which the changes take place all the time. The change of seasons and times of day dye the landscapes with different colours in different times. Symbolist artists strived to evoke dreams and visions, rather than record visible reality.
The universality of landscapes is the most important reason why the exhibition has been so successful yet. “Landscapes have always held a special position in Finnish art. Even today, experiencing a landscape is an important part of Finnish culture", Ambassador Pekka Huhtaniemi said in his speech at the exhibition opening.
"People have a desire to retain their connection with nature despite our increasingly urban culture, and looking at a landscape or landscape painting is still felt to be an opportunity for meditation. Landscapes have always helped us find and build our identities."
The Symbolist Landscape exhibition presents a broad range of poetic and allusive paintings of nature from the turn of the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries. It focuses on major artists of the avant-garde such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch but will also introduce Scandinavian artists like Albert Edelfelt and Akseli Gallen-Kallela from Finland. 70 outstanding landscapes by 54 artists are brought together in the exhibition.
“This is a truly international exhibition, including artists from all over the Europe, both well-known and lesser-known works and artists. It is also a result of excellent collaboration between three European countries and museums. This has truly been a fruitful and rewarding partnership, as we can see”, said Ambassador Huhtaniemi.