Dance on the Quay
Niemenlautta, a community of summer villas near the town of Viipuri, was important for Hugo Simberg, and the place where he created a large part of his output. Simberg spent countless summers there in his childhood, youth and later years, in the midst of the extended circle of his immediate family and other relatives, and the experience of those summers was reflected in his work in many ways. He used the occupants of the villas and the farmhands as sitters, and views from Niemenlautta became part of Simberg’s inimitable imagery.
A steamer to Viipuri stopped at the quay at Niemenlautta. The quay was a popular meeting place among youth in the region, and on Saturday nights, when an accordion player was there, they danced on the quay.
Hugo Simberg was also an avid photographer. Most of the pictures in his collection of more than a thousand photographs depict sunny days at Niemenlautta. Photographs also played an important role in Simberg’s art, as he used them systematically as part of the painting process.