Karelian art on show in Russia

Grand Palace in Pavlovsk Park in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. (iStock)
Grand Palace in Pavlovsk Park in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. (iStock)
Put together by the South Karelia Art Museum, the exhibition in the Pavlovsk Palace features drawings and watercolours by Viktor Svaetichin depicting old Vyborg and Karelian areas formerly part of Finland.

The Finnish-Russian joint exhibition treats audiences to images from Vyborg and Karelia from the beginning of the 20 century. The famous Monrepos Park, which has ties to the aristocratic family that lived in Pavlovsk Palace in the late 18th century, is among the views on show.

The exhibition at the Pavlovsk Palace has been put together by the South Karelia Art Museum as part of a three-year cooperation deal between the museums.

A view from early 20th century Vyborg painted by Viktor Svaetichin. (South Karelia Art Museum)
A view from early 20th century Vyborg painted by Viktor Svaetichin. (South Karelia Art Museum)

The diplay features Viktor Svaetichin’s drawings and watercolours of buildings in Vyborg and nearby Karelia between 1912 and 1919. Some 250 works, originally commissioned from the artist, are on show in St. Petersburg through the summer. The pieces are owned by the Vyborg Foundation. Part of the collection is usually housed at the South Karelia Art Museum in Lappeenranta, while others are kept at the Lahti Historical Museum.

Viktor Svaetichin (1877-1942) came from Salmi, on the eastern shore of the giant Karelian Lake Ladoga. He first studied drawing in Vyborg, and later in Ateneum, Helsinki. After his studies he lived and taught art in Vyborg, Finland’s premier eastern city at the time, which came under Soviet rule in the Second World War. Svaetichin was also a photographer inspired by nature.

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