Akseli Gallen-Kallela was a Finnish painter born in 1865 in Pori, Finland. He is best known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. Gallen-Kallela was sent to Helsinki to study at a grammar school and attended drawing classes at the Finnish Art Society and studied privately under Adolf von Becker. In 1884, he moved to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, where he became friends with the Finnish painter Albert Edelfelt, the Norwegian painter Carl Dørnberger, and the Swedish writer August Strindberg. He is considered a prominent figure in Finnish national identity, and his work is characterized by Romantic nationalism, Realism, and Symbolism.