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date: 20 August 2019

Aaltonen, Wäinö (Waldemar)locked

(b Marttila [Swed. St Mårtens], March 8, 1894; d Helsinki, May 30, 1966).
  • Leena Ahtola-Moorhouse

Extract

(Waldemar)

(b Marttila [Swed. St Mårtens], March 8, 1894; d Helsinki, May 30, 1966).

Finnish sculptor and painter. He was the most significant sculptor of the early decades of Finnish independence (after 1917). His style combined classical tranquillity with a modern sensitivity and disclosed the beauty of granite as a sculptural material. He studied painting at the School of Drawing of the Turku Art Association between 1910 and 1915 but on graduation began to practise moulding techniques and to teach himself stone sculpting. In 1916 his firm instincts and talent for monumental sculpture were remarked on at a general exhibition. His Granite Boy (1917–20; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) is one of the masterpieces of his youth, the timid austerity of the child’s figure conveying an Egyptian quality. The marble sculptures Little Wader (1917–22; priv. col., see Okkonen, 1926) and Wader (1924; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) are both good examples of Aaltonen’s tonal carving. His main concerns were light and shadow and the atmosphere they create around the sculpture. In ...

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