Postcards From the World: Shepherd Boy

Today I want to show off my favorite Postcrossing card of the ones I’ve received recently. This card, #FI-3952363, comes to me from Finland.

Shepherd boy from Paanajärvi, by Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

The artwork is by Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931), who worked in realism, romantic nationalism, and symbolism. He painted many characteristically Finnish subjects, like this one, but also studied in Paris and lived for a time in the United States.

This oil painting, “Shepherd boy from Paanajärvi,” was painted in 1917 and falls into the romantic nationalism genre. The boy is blowing a bockhorn (″Billy Goat Horn″ in English). This ancient Scandinavian musical instrument was made from the horn of a ram or a goat and was traditionally used by shepherds and milkmaids in the mountains.

A Postcrosser named Virpi sent the card. She’s 50 years old and lives in the town of Sastamala, in southwestern Finland. She posted a link to her town’s website. The English translation version is here: Virpi lists her hobbies as baking and watching television, but says she doesn’t have much time for them because she works a lot of hours. Receiving postcards from all over the world cheers her up.A

And receiving this lovely piece of art cheered me up, too.

For more about Postcrossing, and how you, too, can send and receive postcards to and from people all over the world, check out the Postcrossing website at Or ask me questions in the comments!

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