Wäinö Aaltonen, Helene Schjerfbeck.
Signed and marked 1942-1944 and H.S. 80. Black granite. Height 32 cm.
Wear due to age and use.
Hilmer Brommels; thence by descent in the family.
Börje Sandberg, "Wäinö Aaltonen", Otava 1948, depicted on p.23.
Wäinö Aaltonen was a prominent Finnish sculptor, born in 1894 in Karinais. Largely self-taught, he became the creator of several major national monuments following Finland's independence, initially in a classical style but eventually incorporating post-cubist elements.
Aaltonen studied drawing and painting at the Finnish Art Society's drawing school in Turku, but later developed an interest in stone carving and sculpture. He learned the techniques of marble carving from his relative, the sculptor Aarre Aaltonen, and apprenticed with stone carvers in Hirvensalo. His significant breakthrough came with the Turku Art Society's 25th-anniversary exhibition in 1916, where critics were impressed by Aaltonen's grand lines, sense of style, and monumental creations. His first solo exhibition was held in Vaasa in 1922. After a trip to Italy in 1923, he was deeply inspired by cubism, which influenced many of his works.
Wäinö Aaltonen's art displays great respect for materials, whether it be marble, bronze, or granite, reminiscent of Egypt. He is renowned for his skilled attention to detail and ability to capture movement in solid materials. Aaltonen has had a significant influence on younger generations of artists, with a prolific body of work primarily showcased at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in Turku.