Skip to content

Estlander, Carl Gustaf

    Image Credit: 375 Humanists

    Full Name: Estlander, Carl Gustaf

    Other Names:

    • Carl Gustaf Estlander

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1834

    Date Died: 1910

    Home Country/ies: Finland

    Subject Area(s): aesthetics


    Professor of esthetics at the University of Helsinki; first to teach art history courses in Finland. Estlander taught a course in the history of painting at Helsinki in 1862-1863 academic year. For the 1866-1867 another course on art history in general, and in the 1871-1872 one on the Italian Renaissance. Follow that his art courses focused on historic art theory. His art lectures were based on the texts of the seminal German writers on art Wilhelm Lübke, Franz Kugler and Karl Julius Ferdinand Schnaase. Estlander had travelled to Italy and made personal notes on artwork, from which he drew his remarks on the Renaissance. He published a book on art history, De bildande konsternas historia från slutet av aderetonde arhundradet till våra dagar in 1867. This book was the influence to the writing and teaching of the first fully-appointed chair of art history in Finland, J. J. Tikkanen. A subsequent edition appeared in 1925, with commentary by Tancred Borenius. Estlander was one of the self-taught art historians, precursor to the first professional generation of art historian in Finland. His only work to appear in a major European language was in a Sicilian journal.

    Selected Bibliography

    De bildande konsternas historia från slutet av aderetonde arhundradet till våra dagar. Stockholm: L. J. Hiertas, 1867; [collected works] Skrifter. 3 vols. Helsingfors: Tidnings- och Tryckeri-Aktiebolagets, 1914-1925.


    Ringbom, Sixten. Art History in Finland before 1920. Helsinki: 1986, pp. 51-56, 62; Vakkari, Johanna. “J. J. Tikkanen and the Teaching of Art History.” in, Suominen-Kokkonen, Renja, ed. The Shaping of Art History in Finland. Helsinki: Taidehistorian Seura, 2007, pp. 69-70 and notes 9-11, p.79.


    "Estlander, Carl Gustaf." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: