Ten Virgins

Tove Jansson painted the altarpiece directly onto the wall of the church as it was being built using the al secco technique. The altarpiece is horizontal in shape, more than 5 meters long and a little more than 1.5 meters in height. The altarpiece aroused attention because everyone was accustomed to churches having altarpieces that rose upwards vertically.

The shape selected for the altarpiece was the same as that of the altarpiece in the Tampere cathedral. In the opinion of the designer of the church, Elsi Borg, this was especially fitting for the flatlands of Ostrobothnia.

It was through the architectural office that designed the church that Tove Jansson came to be selected as the artist to create the altarpiece. The office wished to have a female artist and one of the architects involved in the design, Kaisa Harjanne, knew Tove Jansson. Tove Jansson and Kaisa Harjanne made an introductory visit to the Teuva church, and the idea of a horizontal shape was affirmed by a visit to see the altarpiece of the Tampere cathedral, which was made by Magnus Enckell. (Source: Interview with Päivi Siltanen)

The landscape of Southern Ostrobothnia was a new experience for the artist. In her letters, she describes: "Everywhere horizontal, calm, endless". (Column, Ilkka 14.7.2001)

Funds for the altarpiece were received as a gift. One of the donors is known to be Erland Luoma whose name is also in the painting.