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Hugo Simberg

From Academic Kids

Hugo Simberg (June 24, 1873 - July 12, 1917) was a Finnish symbolist painter and graphic artist. In 1895 he became the private pupil of Akseli Gallen-Kallela at his wilderness studio Kalela in Ruovesi. The two characters Simberg used most in his art are the "Poor Devil" and Death.

Simberg's works mostly focus on the macabre and the supernatural, possessing a sort of haunting, gloomy beauty. A good example of this is his painting Kuolema kuuntelee ("Death Listens"). The painting depicts Death, personified as a skeleton wearing a black coat, listening with a bowed head as a young man plays the violin. On the background, there is an old woman lying on a bed, looking pale and sickly. The viewer is left with an impression that it is her that Death is there for, but that he has opted to stay his hand so the young man, possibly the dying woman's son, can have time to finish his playing.

Paintings and prints

  • Haavoittunut enkeli (1903) (The Wounded Angel)
  • Kuolema kuuntelee (1897) (Death Listens)
  • Kuoleman puutarha (1896) (The Garden of Death)

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