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THE HOME OF AINO AND JEAN SIBELIUS

SUVIRANTA

A few years after Juhani Aho, Eero Järnefelt moved to the shores of Lake Tuusula (1863–1937). At first he chose to live on the opposite shore of the lake, in Vanhankylä Manor, but subsequently acquired from Järvenpää Manor a plot of pastureland, devoid of trees, almost next door to Juhani Aho, for a home and place of work. The house was designed by the architect Usko Nyström and he moved to his new home, Suviranta, in 1901.

Järnefelt’s wife Saimi (née Swan) was one of nine siblings, and was the sister of Anni Swan, wife of the author Otto Manninen. By profession Saimi Järnefelt was an actress at the Finnish Theatre in Helsinki, but she gave up her career after moving to Suviranta.

Eero Järnefelt and his family lived at Suviranta until 1917, when they moved to Helsinki. Suviranta remained in use during the summer and for special events such as Christmas.

At Suviranta Eero Järnefelt painted such topics as marsh marigolds and great crested grebes, many pictures of the sun and clouds, the aspens on the shore and other landscapes and natural features, the altar paintings for Lieto Church and St John’s Church in Helsinki, a painting of the Aurora Society (a national Finnish literary society based around the Royal Academy in Turku), as well as a significant number of portraits.

Suviranta was also visited by the young writer Frans Eemil Sillanpää, a fellow student of Eero Järnefelt’s eldest son, Heikki. Eero Järnefelt liked his young guest and used him as a model, for example in the Aurora Society painting. In later life Sillanpää often mentioned his time at Suviranta and the discussions that took place there.

In 1933, Eero Järnefelt’s daughter Laura (1904–85) and her family moved to Suviranta. Since then the house has been used throughout the year, and it is still owned by the family.