Eero Järnefelt, arguably Finland’s best-known painter, first visited Koli in 1892 in company with author Juhani Aho and Venny Soldan-Brofelt. He visited Koli again in autumn 1909 with composer Jean Sibelius, who was married to his sister Aino. I.K. Inha, a pioneer of the new art of photography, was inspired by the Koli landscape over 100 years ago, like many other artists of his time.
"Whichever direction you look from Ukko-Koli there are interesting foregrounds, strange rock formations, wind sighing in the spruce forest that rises from protected ravines, strangely twisted pines on the bare areas. And towards the lake there are chasms, crevasses, and cliffs as the mountains slope steeply to the shore." I.K. Inha, Suomen Maisemia (Finnish landscapes), Porvoo 1909.