V. A. Koskenniemi

Artist(s):Emil Rautala Date:1935 Medium:oil on canvas Dimensions:138 x 100 cm Collection:Student Union of the University of Turku

Emil Rautala painted a portrait of author V. A. Koskenniemi (1885–1962), Professor of Finnish and Comparative Literature, for the Student Union of the University of Turku in 1935. The portrait was unveiled on the Student Union’s anniversary, on Porthan Day, 9 November 1935. Koskenniemi had been invited as the Student Union’s third Honorary Member in 1928. In the portrait, his hands are on his hips and he looks almost Nietzschean in his fury. The University’s art collection includes another portrait of the sitter, painted by Rautala in 1948.

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 – Röda rummet. Turku: Turku Art Museum, 1988.

“Turun yliopiston ylioppilaskunnan vuosijuhla. Prof. V. A. Koskenniemen muotokuvan paljastus.” Ajan Suunta, 11 November 1935.