(b Nurmes, 14 Mar. 1879; d Helsinki, 18 Sept. 1955).
The outstanding Finnish Expressionist painter. He was the son of a tailor who belonged to a strict fundamentalist religious sect (the Hihhulit), and the unhappy background of his early years later formed the basis for some of his paintings. After spending several years as an itinerant jobbing tailor in Sweden, he studied art in Helsinki and in 1909 and 1914 visited Paris, where he was influenced by avant-garde French painting, particularly Fauvism. Its influence can be seen in what is probably his most famous picture, Washerwomen (1911, Ateneum, Helsinki), a work that caused an outcry because of its bold colours and very rough handling. Sallinen's favourite subjects were scenes of Finnish peasant life such as this and also views of the harsh Karelian landscape. He was the leading figure of the November Group and became regarded as the nationalist Finnish painter par excellence.