Enni Id's Decorated HouseEnni Id (1904-1992)




579 Kellosalmentie, Padasjoki, 17500, Finland

Visiting Information

Currently the house is open for visits on summer weekends.

About the Artist/Site

Enni was born in the rural community of Padasjoki, Finland. At age twenty she ran away from home to stay and work with an aunt who lived in Helsinki, around 170 km (just over 100 miles) away, and who had a small shop that manufactured clothing.

In 1929 Enni married, but her husband died in 1936 and she returned to Padasjoki. In 1939 she married again, this time to Edvard Id.

Enni Id liked to sketch and paint, but her second husband would not tolerate this. He would use her paintings to insulate the walls and the ceiling of their home, turning the painted side to the back.

This second marriage lasted for over 25 years, and when her husband died in 1966, Enni Id was relieved to have the opportunity to reactivate the passion she felt for painting and sketching without fear of criticism or reprisal. She was in her early sixties.

Released from the pressure of not being able to freely create, Enni Id covered the walls and the floor of her two-room house with a variety of paintings in a true outburst of expressivity. (She did not paint the ceiling, for she believed its openness provided a connection with heaven above.) Likewise, she also decorated all of her furniture, jars and baskets. Flowers, plants, and cats were her favorite themes.

In addition to painting on the house itself and its furnishings, she also painted on canvas; with these smaller works her favorite subjects were landscapes, angels, devils, and animals, but she also painted scenes of the peasant uprising in 1596-97.

Enni Id’s paintings did not go unnoticed. In 1973 her work was shown in an exposition of naive art in the Kunsthalle in Helsinki. This exhibition and accompanying illustrated articles in magazines and newspapers gave this self-taught artist, at age seventy, an enviable reputation throughout Finland. Many of her paintings were purchased and included in private collections.

Enni Id died in 1992. But by then, her decorated house, bequeathed to the community, and managed by a local community association, needed repair. Thanks to financial support from a regional association promoting the development of rural areas, the roof was renovated and the exterior walls were repainted. Her reputation has continued, and in 2015 the ITE-museum (outsider art museum) in Kokkola, Finland, exhibited the work of several Finnish self-taught artists who abundantly decorated their homes, including Enni Id.

Currently the house is open for visits on summer weekends.

~Henk van Es



Map & Site Information

579 Kellosalmentie, 17500 fi
Latitude/Longitude: 61.397336 / 25.295671

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