Girl on a sandy beach
© Kuvasto 2016. Photo: © Bank of Finland
Santeri Salokivi’s (1880–1940) paintings appear to have remained the art lover’s firm favourites, from one generation to another. There is a very simple reason for this, the subjects his paintings typically portray. His paintings typically feature life on sunny sea shores. The works’ gentle colours and fluid brushwork create painlessly pleasurable experiences, just the kind that a successful excursion to swim or sunbathe on the beach can bring.
Salokivi found himself in Munich and Paris being educated in the ways of impressionism. He became an artist of light, an artist as much at home in the scorching sunlight of Italy as on the Finnish coastlines of Pellinki, Högsår and Ahvenanmaa (Åland), which are considered as having the nicest weather in Finland.
“Girl on a sandy beach” has perfectly captured the atmosphere and seaside fashions of the Twenties. The figure on the beach is clearly a modelled composition in a classic pose and combines the routines of the schooled artist with a credible representation of a summer’s day. Sailing ships are another of Salokivi’s favourite subjects. This was certainly influenced by the fact that his father had been a seaman. So, in his beach and maritime paintings alike Salokivi portrays his subjects with an open, almost dream-like quality. The rumble of war hasn’t yet darkened life’s horizons.
Salokivi shared his skills and his visions with others. His teaching career began in Turku at the Art Society’s Drawing School and he worked as an art teacher at a number of schools. Salokivi had an art school of his own, that operated in Helsinki, 1930–1932.