In The Garden of Death

I’ve been a fan of the Symbolist painter Hugo Simberg (1873-1917) since I first saw his work in his native Finland decades ago. His best known work The Garden of Death (above) was created for the Tampere Cathedral along with a series of frecos. I don’t know why Simberg’s painting get so little attention, so I was surprised to see images of his work pop-up on two unrelated blogs this week.

The Kansallisgalleria (Finnish National Gallery) in Helsinki maintains an extensive archive of Simberg’s graphics and paintings, but it’s rare to discover his work elsewhere. Many of his paintings take an unflinching, if humorous, look at death and dying. Here are just a few from the series. A brief biography on the artist can be found at wikipedia.




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