Production

Vilho Lampi, the painter from Liminka, is known as an interpreter of Northern Ostrobothnian landscape and milieu. His outstanding works in Finnish landscape and milieu painting were created within a short period of time and a limited area. Vilho Lampi painted landscapes in his home village during fourteen years in the 1930s and 1940s. After a short trip to Paris in 1931 the significance of Liminka landscapes in Lampi’s production increased considerably.

Old Liminka, the River Liminganjoki, accented by numerous bridges, and Rantatie Road with its houses, buildings and yards, winding along the river, were Vilho Lampi’s key subjects. He painted studies of milieu and nature, like open-air landscapes, and landscapes mediating particular atmospheres and states of mind. They were recorded in his works during different times of a day and seasons. Besides his environment, Vilho Lampi was also interested in the social conditions of his time, even though he mostly painted people, Ostrobothnian landscapes and Parisian cityscapes separately. As well as recording people’s ways of living, Lampi depicted traditional Ostrobothnian utility articles, tools, different types of buildings and yards. The artist’s home farm Matinlauri and neighbouring area offered him innumerable everyday subjects.

By Liminka River By Liminka River, 1934
Oil on panel
Oulu City Art Museum

Vilho Lampi painted Ostrobothnian folk subjects in both the 1920s and the 1930s. The beginning of his career includes expressionistic-realistic portraits and paintings of work scenes made in the spirit of the November Group. There are also some experiments with abstract expression among these works. Along with some heroic motifs Lampi’s production is supplemented with large-scale, ample paintings of countryside and everyday-life. Compositions are condensed around one or several persons. In many cases, the artist has also used himself as a model.

The Executioner The Executioner, 1930
Oil on plywood
Oulu City Art Museum

Still Life (Lucky Fellow) Still Life (Lucky Fellow), 1933
Oil on panel
Oulu City Art Museum

The artist made self-portraits throughout his production. He painted most of them in oil colours, but there are also watercolours and few pencil drawings among his self-portraits. At times he has portrayed himself as a proud farm owner, at times as an elegant man of the world. As well as role pictures that are more difficult to recognise, Lampi’s self-portraits also include representative studies, that aim at expressing the artist’s identity, situation in life and emotions.

Vilho Lampi’s production includes several portraits of children. This surely is at least partly due to the artist’s rural surroundings. There children had the most free time, and no responsibility for the farm work like adults. Furthermore, they had a natural and unprejudiced attitude towards artistic work. Especially Vilho Lampi’s siblings’ and neighbours’ children posed as models for the artist. Also his other portraits were mainly created as a result of free artistic work. Some of them are realistic, some represent a kind of a character. Lampi painted only a few official, commissioned portraits.

Maija and Rose Maija and Rose, 1932
Oil on panel
Oulu City Art Museum

Self-Portrait Self-Portrait, 1929
Oil on plywood

Variations in painting styles are clearly visible in Vilho Lampi’s portraits of different type. Group and single portraits constitute their own clearly defined entity. Compositions of two or more persons can be dated to the artist’s student days in the early 1920s. An exception to this rule are Lampi’s monumental heroic paintings of folk characters and ”At Mother’s Grave” series of paintings completed in the 1930s.

Landscapes

Milieus

Genre Paintings

Portraits

Still lifes