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Art is an immense forest

In the world, in life, and in nature, there is nothing but beautiful tales, and when the door opens, enter and accept it with all your soul. Art is an immense, eternal forest, where the trees stand as sparsely or as densely as you wish. The moon, sun and all kinds of glittering stars move about at your will, and when you come to the shore of a lake in the wilderness it is fathomless if you so want, and lush waterlilies and wonderful red-speckled waterbirds swim on the black water. And if you want, the day will dawn on the other side of the lake behind the craggy mountain, and the yellow sun’s rays shine through the delicate spiderwebs which hang between the eternal firs. The birds can begin their concert and beyond the mountain the spirit of the mountain accompanies them on the organ.

— Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Finish painter, from his journal in 1893

Cited in: K. Berg, “Nordic Art at the Turn of the Century”, in B. Schreiber, C. Edam, L. Ahtola-Moorhouse (eds), Dreams of a Summer Night: Scandinavian Painting at the Turn of the Century, London, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1986, p. 47.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist