Eero Mustakallio

Artist(s):Tuomas von Boehm Date:1957 Medium:oil on canvas Dimensions:100 x 80 cm

Tuomas von Boehm was one of the most distinguished portrait painters of his generation. In his portraits, he used harmonic compositions and subtle colours, similar to his works in other genres. Through his brushstrokes he emphasised the paint’s materiality, as evidenced by the portrait of Eero Mustakallio (1907–2000). Mustakallio was the first Professor of Bacteriology and Serology at the University of Turku in 1945–1973. He was also actively involved in developing the Faculty of Medicine and in societal interaction. When his 50th birthday portrait was painted, he served as the new Faculty’s dean (1954–1959). Mustakallio focused on Finnish blood groups in his research. In the portrait, he is shown at work in a laboratory, inspecting test tubes.

Tuomas von Boehm (1916–2000) studied at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society in 1937–1938 and made his debut in 1945. He was a central figure of the Viiva ja väri (“Line and Colour”) group that promoted abstraction and paper-based art forms, although his own production remained figurative throughout his career. However, for the modernists of von Boehm’s generation, an interest in pictorial composition and ‘pure painterliness’ were more crucial than the motifs, which also took their expression towards abstraction.

Tutta Palin 2024

Karjalainen, Tuula. ”Boehm, Tuomas von (1916–2000).” Kansallisbiografia online publication, 14 November 2007. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.

Koskinen, Mirva, ed. Silmin nähden. Taideteoksia Turun yliopiston arkkitehtuurissa – Art in Architecture at the University of Turku. Turku: University of Turku, 1997.

Raittila, Hannu. “Tule ja katso.” Kolme taidemaalaria – Tre konstnärer – Three Painters. Tuomas von Boehm, Helge Dahlman, Tapani Raittila, eds Timo Simanainen, Eeva Toikka and Katja Vuorinen, 12–18. Riihimäen Taidemuseon julkaisuja 11. Riihimäki: Riihimäki Art Museum, 2004.