Akseli Gallen-Kallela (Finnish, 1865 – 1931)

Lemminkäinen’s Mother, 1897

In the Finnish epic Kalevala, Lemminkäinen drowns in the river of the underworld while attempting to capture the Black Swan. His mother fishes her dead son’s body parts from the river and sews him back together. The only thing that can restore his life is a drop of honey from the dwelling of Ukko, the God of the Sky.

In this painting, Lemminkäinen’s mother waits for the bee to deliver the precious drop of honey to revive her son.