Akseli Gallen-Kallela wanted to portray Finland and its people without conventional beautification. Finland's old folk epic Kalevala gave him the big topic, which for decades was mastering his imagination. As subjects had "The abduction of Sampo" long been in Gallen-Kallela thoughts, before he seriously took it up in 1905. In this version, the scene takes place at night, in a bright moonlight that throws long shadows. "The abduction of Sampo" is about how the heroes went to Pohjola to recover the Sampo, a magical thing that brought riches.