Edvard Isto

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Edvard Isto

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Edvard Isto

Photograph by Daniel Nyblin (fi)

November 28, 1865 (1865-11-28)

October 14, 1905 (1905-10-15) (aged 39)

Edvard Isto, or Eetu Isto (1865-1905) was a Finnish artist, best known for his patriotic anti-Russian painting, “The Attack”, which was widely reproduced in its original form and in variations.


1 Biography
2 The Attack
3 Further reading
4 External links


The Attack (1899)

He was the youngest of nine children born to a family of farmers, and the only one who attended school; the nearest of which was six miles away. Even so, he was unable to continue beyond the elementary grades, because the nearest secondary school was too far away, in Oulu. When he turned eighteen, he went to Övertorneå, in Sweden, to work at a decorating company owned by one of his cousins.
He moved to Helsinki in 1888, where he studied art and design at what is now the “Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture”, but could only advance so far, due to his lack of education. Meanwhile, he supported himself by painting and decorating. Among others, he worked for the architect Karl August Wrede (fi). After this experience, he was able to return to the School of Arts and complete his studies. He may have attended some classes at the Academy of Fine Arts, and began producing his first canvases.
In 1895, he applied for and received a government grant that enabled him to travel to Berlin, where he studied at the Prussian Academy of the Arts. Although he was forced to support himself by house painting and decorating again, he had more time to devote to serious work, especially portraits.
The Attack[edit]
While there, in response to the Russification of Fi