Finnish painter and graphic artist. His training included periods of study as a private pupil of Schjerfbeck and under Repin at the St Petersburg Academy. He had his first one-man exhibition in 1897 and thereafter his work was widely exhibited in Finland, where he was a member of the November group (see Sallinen), and elsewhere (his work won a bronze medal at the Paris World Fair of 1900). Until 1908, when he first visited Paris, Rissanen concentrated on Finnish peasant subjects, based on his childhood environment. These are considered his finest works, depicting life's fateful procession with power and dignity. Subsequently, under a variety of international influences, his work gained in urbanity what it lost in force and originality. Among his public commissions were murals for Helsinki's City Library (1909) and National Theatre (1910) and for the Museum at his birthplace Kuopio (1928). Between the two world wars Rissanen lived mainly in Paris, and in 1939 he emigrated to the USA, settling in Florida, where he died.
From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.