Two sides of one frame
Now you can see a painting with the portrait of Nicholas II on one side and a landscape on the other. The oil painting was done by N.A. Keinänen in 1911, and painted on hardboard. The painting has been featured both at home and at Ville Reinikainen’s footwear store in Kuopio. Reinikainen had previously worked as a shoemaker and was also a stakeholder of the leather factory in Savilahti. During the period of oppression, when it was quieter, the winter landscape was displayed. If, on the other hand, there were fears about inspections, the portrait of Nicholas II was on display. Nicholas II was the Grand Duke of Finland in 1894-1917. He took a number of Russianization measures.
Read more here about the Grand Duke Nicholas II’s time, and the period of oppression!
The Grand Duke of Finland Nicholas II (1894-1917)
Nicholas II carried out a number of Russianization measures in Finland with the aim of abolishing Finland’s special status and army, increasing the power of the Governor-General and introducing Russia as an official language. In the summer of 1898, Nicholas Bobrikov was elected Governor General to carry out the unification efforts. As Russianization continued, resistance increased sharply and led to active and criminal manifestations, such as the murder of Bobrikov in June 1904.
Major protests and strikes forced war-torn Russia and its emperor into concessions in 1905. Finland abolished its military conscription decree and other Russianization measures, and began a reform of the parliament. 1906 Finland received a unicameral parliamentary term and in the following year 200 MPs were elected by universal suffrage. Women were also the first in Europe to obtain the right to vote and representation.
However, Nicholas II immediately called for new elections and the presentation of the bills was passed to the Russian Council of Ministers. This is the beginning of a new era of unification policy. Confrontations at the war front, food and fuel shortages led to a revolution in Russia in 1917 and Nicholas II was forced to give up his crown. The Interim Government published a manifesto revoking the standardization measures imposed in Finland. This was the beginning of a multi-stage development, culminating in Finland’s declaration of independence in the winter of 1917.
Nicholas II’s visit to Helsinki
Watch here a video (duration 1:15) of Emperor Nicholas II’s only visit to Helsinki. The video is an excerpt from a more than 10-minute silent film recorded by Oscar Lindelöf and was later post-recorded. The film can be watched in its entirety online! https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2010/02/24/vihattu-tsaari-nikolai-ii-vieraili-helsingissa-1915