Aino-taru, triptyykki

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Akseli Gallen-Kallela

1865-1931

Finnish Symbolist painter, architect, printmaker, designer and graphic designer

Aino-taru, triptyykki

The Aino Triptych

1891


Oil on canvas

 Painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, depicting a scene from Kalevala, a Finnish epic poem. Aino was Joukahainen's sister who was promised to the old and wise Väinämöinen in marriage after Joukahainen lost a magic singing match against Väinämöinen. Aino instead decides to drown herself.

The three pictures tell the story: the left panel one is about the first encounter of Väinämöinen and Aino in the forest, the right panel depicts mournful Aino weeping on the shore and listening to the call of the maids of Vellamo who are playing in the water. Aino has made her decision to choose death rather than her wizened suitor. The middle panel depicts the end of the story. Väinämöinen goes to fish for Aino in the lake that she entered. He catches a fish which he thinks to be a salmon and tries to cut her up with a knife, but the fish slips away from his hands and springs back into the water. Then the fish changes into Aino who proceeds to mock the old man, that he held her in his hand but couldn't keep her. After that she vanishes for ever. [Wikipedia]