Hugo Gerhard Simberg was a Finnish symbolist painter and graphic artist. He was born in Finland on 24 June 1873, at Hamina (original Swedish Fredrikshamn) in Finland, the son of Colonel Nicolai Simberg and Ebba Matilda Simberg (born Widenius). In 1891, at the age of 18, he enrolled at the Drawing School of the Viipuri Friends of Art, and also studied at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Association (Suomen Taideyhdistys) (1893–1895), but in 1895 decided to become the private pupil of Akseli Gallen-Kallela at his wilderness studio Kalela in Ruovesi. Between 1895 and 1897 he studied with Gallen for three periods. In 1896 Simberg went to London, and in 1897 to Paris and Italy. During these years he exhibited several works at the Finnish Artists' autumn exhibitions, including 'Autumn, Frost', 'The Devil Playing Music' and 'Aunt Alexandra' (1898), which were well received. Critical success led to his being made a member of the Finnish Art Association, and to his being appointed to teach at the Drawing School of the Viipuri Friends of Art. In 1904 he was commissioned to decorate the interior of Saint John's church in Tampere (now Tampere cathedral), a project which he carried out with Magnus Enckell between 1904 and 1906. From 1907 to 1917 Simberg taught at the Drawing School of the Finnish Art Association. He died at Ahtari on 12 July 1917.