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For any art enthusiast who travels in Finland, Enni Id’s extraordinary artist home is a travel destination worth visiting. The small but colorful cabin draws an enchanting portrait of the eccentric Finnish 20th century ITE artist. This artist home is a rare attraction that is surprisingly well preserved. The legacy of Enni Id lives on in this charming little artist home in Padasjoki, approximately 2 hours’ drive with a car from Helsinki.
Step into the cabin of self-taught naive artist Enni Id in
Kellosalmi, Padasjoki. The small cabin, a few tens of square meters in size,
consists of only a few rooms. The whole interior of the cabin is a piece of
From the outside, a very ordinary-looking, red-walled cabin hides a completely different world inside. Its colors and abundance devour the visitor into the story. All the interior surfaces have been patterned, as if the artist had not been able to stifle the inspiration that emanated from within. The question arises, what kind of a person lived like this?
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Ornamental vines in different colors twist on the walls and floors. Black and white, tailless cats stare from the door. They are a typical figure in Enni’s art. On top of this all the usual household items are patterned with garlands and flowers. There is no unpatterned surface left anywhere. Even the kitchen utensils in the cabinets and plastic canisters have been marked by the artist’s brush. The roof of the cottage creates a fun contrast: it’s the only surface left completely unpainted. That’s because Enni believed that a bare roof is a direct connection to the heaven.
Historical subjects such as stories based on oral tradition
about the Cudgel War, or the stages of harvesting familiar to Enni from
childhood have been immortalized in the paintings. Especially Enni’s first
paintings often depict landscapes, animals, and everyday life.
The well-known Battle of Nyystölä took place in Nyystölä on the Padasjoki River in 1597, where the peasants were killed after they surrendered. The villagers still talked about the Cudgel War in Enni’s youth. The stories remained in the artist’s mind and lived on in her paintings.
Enni Id’s exceptional career required a strong character and
a spirit of rebellion. She made her way into the art world even though her
starting point was weak. The unmarried child of a croft received little
encouragement to make art at the beginning of the 20th century. Her
career only began at the older age of 62 as she widowed. However, her productivity
replaced the lost years.
The prolific ITE artist had an original and recognizable
style in which imagination, dream world, fables and everyday reality mixed.
Enni painted revelations of the spiritual world, such as angels and skinned,
hermaphrodite devils. Countless tailless cats running in the yard have been
included in her art as well.
Enni Id’s ITE art has been created with the paints from a
hardware store. Where could a small village housewife buy genuine artist
supplies? Maybe it was a stroke of luck after all, as furniture paints have
withstood and kept their original colors for decades.
The artist with a distinctive personality was well-known in
her hometown Padasjoki. No wonder because the colorful artist attracted
attention with her art and with her image. The mischievous and sometimes even
devilish behavior towards the other villagers was a part of the identity of the
characteristic ITE artist, arousing confusion and sometimes fear. Enni was even
known for practicing some kind of witchcraft after the death of her second
Enni cursed a lot, which was an exceptional behavior for a
woman at that time. She had other atypical manners too, like making strong liquor
beverages and serving it for the guys of the village, and she even went to jail
for making illegal alcohol. The goofing of the drunken pals could end up as a
subject of Enni’s paintings as well. Although the villagers avoided quick-tempered
Enni, the artist still received approval and help as she grew older.
Enni Id participated in art exhibitions until the late 1980s. She kept on painting until the end of her life at the Padasjoki retirement home. Enni stuck to her own style and way of painting, and the furniture paints from a hardware store remained her trademark.
The Artist Home of Enni Id is run by a local village
association. The attraction is only open to the public on summer Sundays. Find
more detailed opening hours on the website of the village association.