Emil Nervander
Humanist of the day

Emil Nervander

Emil Nervander was above all a researcher of medieval paintings. He was one of the founders of the Finnish Antiquarian Society and was involved in documenting art history materials. Nervander did important work by restoring church art, although his methods were criticised by his contemporaries. Nervander also worked as a journalist and author.

Emil Nervander

Emil Fredrik Nervander
Born November 16, 1840, Helsinki. Died January 27, 1914, Harjavalta.

MA 1869, Imperial Alexander University

Art History researcher, journalist and author
Art and theatre critic 1868–73, Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper
Journalist 1880, Morgonbladet newspaper
Founding member of the Finnish Antiquarian Society, 1870
Secretary of the Turku Cathedral historical monument organising committee, 1875–79
Member of the Turku Cathedral Restoration Committee, 1894–96

Photo: National Board of Antiquities
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by Joe McVeigh

Emil Nervander, who was from an academic family, came to study Literature and Art History at the Imperial Alexander University, completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 1869. Nervander is said to have been an exceptionally fast and skilled writer. He already worked as a playwright during his time at university, and later on he also published collections of poetry and short stories. Furthermore, he worked as an art and theatre critic for the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet between 1868 and 1873 and as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Åbo Posten between 1874 and 1879.

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