Structure: Emblematic species and landscapes

Emblematic species and landscapes have been common subjects in Finnish arts especially in the golden era in 1880–1910.  The arts of the golden era illustrated also the national epic Kalevala, the collection of oral folklore and mythology. The stories and characters in Kalevala are strongly related to natural elements.

It can be argued that nature-related arts have become slanted with different sorts of values in different eras. In the late 19th and early 20th century arts were strongly related to nationalism which was a spreading ideology at the time in Europe but especially important for Finland, a country that aimed to find a basis for its independence under Russian empire.

At the moment, nature-related arts are more linked with ethics. The focus has somewhat turned from emblematic species to common species – similar change has occurred simultaneously in the ideology of conservation. Contemporary arts illustrate more often the relationship of humans and nature, and, for example, represent animals that are present in everyday life such as production animals.


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