Eyes on Finland, Heart in Latvia
Informative travelling exhibition in honor of the 150th anniversary of Janis Rozentāls
Janis Rozentāls (1866–1916) was the talented and determined son of a country blacksmith from the Saldus parish who, at the end of the 19th century, trained at the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts to become a professional painter. Latvian art history records him as being the most popular, beloved and versatile founder of the national art.

Although Janis Rozentāls’s heart was always in Latvia, he considered Finland to be his second homeland. Rozentāls-seura, the Finnish-Latvian friendship society, celebrates the 150th birthday of Janis Rozentāls with an informative travelling historical exhibition Eyes on Finland, Heart in Latvia.


Rozentāls was very well aware of the developments of art in Finland and other Nordic countries. He was interested in Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s (1865–1931) national romanticism and followed the Finnish artist’s career closely. When Rozentāls met his wife Elli, born Forssell, Finland got a special place in his life both as an artist and as a husband, father and a friend. The Rozentāls family spent summers with Elli’s relatives in Nummela, near Helsinki. This resulted in many great paintings depicting Finnish loved ones and Finnish nature – and in Rozentāls’s Finland it is always summer. He also painted two portraits of Elli’s cousin and dear friend, famous writer Maila Talvio.


“Telling the story of one of Finland’s greatest son-in-law’s was something Rozentāls-seura definitely wanted to do to celebrate his anniversary. Being able to present the exhibition in Latvia is a great opportunity, and I hope it will open doors for new ways of cooperation”, tells Jenni Kallionsivu, the exhibition’s producer.



Jenni Kallionsivu (Jenni Kallionsivu)



Dr. art. Aija Brasliņa



Related exhibitions
Related press releases