K. F. Joutsen

Artist(s):Emil Rautala Date:1947 Medium:oil on canvas Dimensions:108 x 86 cm

Emil Rautala’s portrait of Karl Fredrik or Kalle Joutsen (1865–1948) was completed in 1947. Joutsen came from a family of craftsmen, and he and his brother Anton Fabian Johnsson (1868–1942) were among the University’s major donors. Gold dug by the brothers in Klondike, Alaska, made possible the construction of the University library and the Natural Sciences Building. K. F. Joutsen outlived his brother and left his fortune to the University of Turku in his will, which was enforced in 1948. The characterful portrait was hung in the main library immediately after the building was completed in 1954 as the first structure on Yliopistonmäki (University Hill).

Painter Emil Rautala (1883–1948) had been a member of the Red Room artist group in Turku and continued to paint portraits of the University’s staff members and supporters even after his move to Helsinki in 1927. He exhibited his works mostly in Turku. Rautala studied both at the Turku Drawing School (1898–1900) and the University of Helsinki Art Room (1904–1905), where his teacher was Eero Järnefelt. He had also begun studies at the Helsinki Drawing School of the Finnish Art Society (1905–1906). During his studies, he sojourned in, for example, Munich (1907–1908) and Paris (1912–1913). Portrait painting was an essential part of his oeuvre, which is characterised by expressive use of the brush and a Post-Impressionist palette with strong shades of blue, green and purple.

Tutta Palin 2024

Bergh, Erik and Päivi Hovi, eds. Punainen huone – Rödä rummet. Turku: Turku Art Museum, 1988.

Niitemaa, Timo. “Kullankaivajaveljesten jättilahjoitus Turun yliopistolle.” University of Turku, n.d. https://www.utu.fi/fi/yliopisto/historia/kullankaivajaveljesten-jattilahjoitus-turun-yliopistolle.