The Wounded Angel (Haavoittunut enkeli) (1898-1903) by Hugo Simberg

The allegorical procession with the angel walks through quite a realistic landscape. It is, in fact, Eläintarha park in Helsinki, and even today the same road skirts the shores of Eläintarha bay. In Hugo Simberg’s day, the park was a popular spot for leisure-time activities among the working classes, while the gentry favoured Kaivopuisto park. At the time, many charity institutions were located in Eläintarha park; in The Wounded Angel the healthy boys are carrying the injured girl towards the Blind Girls’ school and the Home for Cripples. (Finnish National Gallery)

Simberg consistently declined to offer any explanations to the meaning behind his paintings. Instead, he felt it was important that the viewer was left free to make their own conclusions based on the symbolism. This painting was voted as Finland’s “national painting” in a vote held by the Ateneum art museum in 2006 (Wiki).

8 thoughts on “The Wounded Angel by Hugo Simberg

  1. I didn’t even read the above posts when I first wrote that this painting is so very moving. Sorry…I work for The Office of Redundancy Office.

    All of the painting’s elements are congruent in their depiction of a dismal, flat and sad world, one with little hope. The boy on the right seems to be saying with his eyes, “Welcome to this dark world of dismal landscapes. Our inner landscapes are equally dismal, and wounded too. We have no hope.” On second look, its “you’re next.” I can’t look at it anymore…It’s my darkest dream.

  2. The first time i saw this beautifull image was in an Aleksandr Sokurov short movie: The soldier´s dream, All his movies , are masterpieces . My favourite film maker

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