Early on in his career, Santeri Salokivi discovered a style to which he would remain more or less faithful throughout his life. In 1900-04 Salokivi studied at the School of the Fine Arts Association of Finland in Turku, after which he studied at the Munich arts academy on two occasions, 1905-06 and 1907-08. He visited Italy and France frequently, and felt especially at home in Paris where he had been strongly influenced by the Impressionists.
In the early 1910s, the painterly quality and brilliant colours of the Impressionists and Neo-Impressionists were all the rage on the Finnish art scene. For many artists this remained a passing phase but for Salokivi it was a point of entry. The 1910s marked a strong creative period in Salokivi’s career; he painted urban park scenes, bustling cityscapes and market squares on the Riviera, in Venice, Rome, Paris, Turku and Helsinki. In France and Italy Salokivi encountered a strong and different light, which he painted in delicious white, juxtaposing it with the strong green of the foliage and the deep violet of the shadows. The sun, the airiness and the greenery were typical features in his vibrant, at times decorative tableaux painted en plein air.
In 1997, Santeri Salokivi’s daughter, Mrs. Lila Salokivi-Kavaleff donated nine of her father’s paintings to the Amos Anderson Art Museum. To date, the museum owns thirteen works by Santeri Salokivi. The earliest works show the artist’s favourite spots, the Monte Pincio and Borghese gardens, painted in 1914 while honeymooning in Rome.
The collection also includes summer landscapes mainly from the 1930s. The archipelago was the predominant theme in Salokivi’s first exhibition in 1907 and remained so throughout his career. In the late 1920s, Salokivi spent many summers in Högsåra, the Åland Islands and Pellinki, painting the coastline, ships, village scenes, cottages, waterside sheds and the sea. Old sailing ships were Salokivi’s weakness; he could spend hours waiting for ships to arrive or leave. Salokivi once said that he had never painted nor wished to paint anything other than what he loved and saw in nature.