Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood)

Eero Järnefelt1893

Ateneum Art Museum

Ateneum Art Museum
Helsinki, Finland

Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood) is Eero Järnefelt's most famous work. It was first named in words from the Kalevala, while the name in brackets appeared when it was exhibited in 1897. The scene was painted in Lapinlahti, Northern Savo, where the Järnefelts spent the summer of 1893 at the Rannan Puurula farmhouse. The tradition of burn-beating was still practiced in the area, and the artist drew sketches of the land and took photographs of the men and women at work during the summer. The model for the main character in the painting was Johanna Kokkonen, a 14-year-old maid of the household. Järnefelt has blackened the girl's face with soot, added a surrounding halo of smoke and painted such reproach in her eyes as to appeal to the viewer's heart on behalf of these heavily burdened people.


  • Title: Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood)
  • Creator: Eero Järnefelt
  • Creator Lifespan: 1863/1937
  • Creator Nationality: Finnish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Helsinki
  • Creator Birth Place: Vyborg
  • Date Created: 1893
  • Physical Dimensions: w164 x h131 cm (without frame)
  • Inventory number: A I 514
  • Dimensions: 131 x 164 cm
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Ateneum Art Museum
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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