Torso of Aphrodite, Roman copy of a Greek original

As I mentioned the other day, I was disappointed in the art viewing opportunities in the Stockholm city center. But a short distance away, in the town of Lidingö, I had a very pleasant afternoon at Millesgården, the home and studio of Swedish-born sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955). Milles made monumental public sculpture, conveying spiritual and philosophical content with bold, modernist forms. Below is a photograph that I took when I was there, of one of his sculptures, The Hand of God.

Milles collected classical statues, several of which are on display at Millesgården. I stopped to sketch from a few of them. The practice of constant daily drawing, that I had been keeping up throughout my trip to Europe, was starting to feel a little rusty, due to lack of opportunity in Stockholm. So it was wonderful to have such great artwork to study there. Milles’ own work I found powerful, but I prefer what I see as a more nuanced subtlety of classical sculpture. I can see a classical influence in Milles’ more modernist forms.

Milles seems to have had a nice life, and made a significant contribution. I found the house simple, elegant, and comfortable, and I would have loved to work in the enormous studio that he had made, for making his monumental sculptures. Visiting Millesgården was a bit like walking into a pleasant dream of what an artist’s life could be like.


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