Statues - Hither & Thither

Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa

Senaatintori

Aleksanteri II

Czar Alexander II

Moscow 1818 - St. Petersburg 1881
Tsar of Russia and Grand Duke of Finland from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881.
(Wikipedia)
Walter Runeberg & Johannes Takanen
Thiébaut (Paris)
1894

Helsinki /  Aleksanteri II   Helsinki /  Aleksanteri II

Description

Bronze statue of Alexander II wearing a guards uniform, speaking at the Porvoo Diet in 1863.

The granite pedestal is surrounded by four statues:

  1. Lex - Law; The maiden of Finland wearing a bearskin, with a sword and shield with the word 'LEX', accompanied by a lion (the same maiden can be seen in the pedestal of Runeberg's memorial to Finland's national poet J. L. Runeberg)
  2. Lux - Light (Science and Art): Woman, accompanied by an angel with a lyra, a terrestrial globe and a painter's palet.
  3. Pax - Peace: Woman with fruit and corn, and a cornstalk in her raised right hand; at her feet two pigeons.
  4. Labor - Work: Man with hammer and woman with sicle.

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
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Under these allegorical figures are in bronze the coats of arms of the Finnish nine provinces plus one of ?:

  1. under Lex: Uusimaa and Häme (Tavastia)
  2. under Lux: .?., Savo (Savonia) and Karjala (Karelia)
  3. under Pax: Lappi (Laponia) and Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia)
  4. under Labor: Satakunta, Varsinais-Suomi (Finland-Proper) and Ahvenanmaa (Åland)

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Helsinki - Aleksanteri II
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Helsinki - Aleksanteri II
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Inscription(s)

ALEXANDER II

On the granite pedestal is the year 1863.

Signature

(statue) WRuneberg / Paris 1891
(Lex) WRuneberg / Paris Oct 1892
(Lux) WRuneberg / Paris 1892
(Pax) unsigned
(Labor) WRuneberg / Kjöbenhavn 23 juni. / 1894
(statue and all four allegories) thiébaut frères Fondeurs / Paris

Annotation

After Alexander II's assassination in 1881, the Finnish government organized in 1884 a competition for a memorial. The competition was won by Johannes Takanen by a narrow margin with Walter Runeberg taking second place. Since the jury considered both entries extremely good, the work was given to both artists - as a joint commission. However, Johannes Takanen died in 1885 leaving the work to Walter Runeberg. The competition jury had given especial praise to Takanen's treatment of Alexander's figure. On the other hand, the jury had from the very beginning been fascinated by the images Walter Runeberg had included in the pedestal in his entry.

Runeberg made the monarch's figure according to Takanen's proposal, although he had the monarch dressed in a guards uniform, while Takanen had him in civilian clothes without the symbols of power, and added his own symbolic figures to the pedestal.

The memorial was unveiled on 29 April 1894.

Helsinki - Aleksanteri I

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Art and Science
  • Coat of arms
  • Globe
  • Law (allegory)
  • Lion
  • Monarch
  • Peace
  • Runeberg, Walter
  • Science (allegorical figure)
  • Statue
  • Takanen, Johannes
  • Thiébaut (Paris)
  • Woman with globe
  • Location N 60°10'10" E 24°57'8"

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    Item Code: fi072; Photograph: 29 June 2013
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