Carl Milles
(Sweden, 1875-1955)
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".
Carl milles, "orpheus".


Signed Carl Milles. Foundry mark H Brergman fud, Stockholm and numbered 2/6. Dark patina, height 233 cm (including stone base 16 cm). Conceived 1925-26. Posthumously cast.

Droit de suite: Yes

1 500 000 - 1 800 000 SEK

163 934 - 196 721 EUR

Hammer price: 

Millesgården, Stockholm, Sweden.


This copy was in the winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2013.


Rogers, Meyric R, "Carl Milles", 1940, compare plate 92-95.
Henrik Cornell, "Milles skönhetsvärld", 1957, the motif described at p. 28-31, compare ill at p. 29 and plates 33,
34 and 36.
Henrik Cornell "Carl Milles, hans verk", SAK, 1963, the motif described at p. 92-101, compare ill at pp. 95, 96, 97, 99.
Elisabeth Lidén, "Between Water and Heaven", 1986, compare p. 63.
Erik Näslund, "Carl Milles - en biografi", 1991, the motif described at p. 202-209, compare ill. at pp. 203, 204, 205, list of artwork p. 336.

Related content

One cast with the same motif belongs to the Cranbrook collection, Michigan, USA.
Compare with the Orpheus Fountain's larger cast from 1926-36, Stockholm.
One cast with the same motif belongs to the collection of Kansas City´s Music Hall, 1965.


Carl Milles settled in at Cranbrook Academy of Art in early 1930s and it was during that time he transformed the idea of that last sketch into monumental fountain Orpheus Fountain.
The 25th of July 1936 the official inauguration of the sculpture took place outside Stockholm’s Concert Hall. It was already decided that the Concert Hall and the square outside the building would have a classical touch and therefore Milles proposal suited into the plans.
This sketch is a strong expression of balanced strength both in body, spirit and aesthetics. In Greek mythology Orpheus is the god of song and music and he is the son of Apollo. The attribute for recognizing Orpheus is usually the lyre.
In Orpheus Fountain the central figure is surrounded by eight muses. These figures are all attentive and listen to the playing of the lyre.
Carl Milles thought music was very important, he loved the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, the so-called Europe symphony. In the finished sculpture Orpheus Fountain Beethoven is one of the figures that surround him. Some thought of his interpretation of the Orpheus group as equivalent to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Purchasing info
For condition report contact specialist
Lisa Gartz
Lisa Gartz
Specialist Sculpture and Old Masters
+46 (0)709 17 99 93
Read more