Wäinö Aaltonen


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(b Marttila, nr. Turku, 8 Mar. 1894; d Helsinki, 30 May 1966).

Finnish sculptor, whose work was regarded as an embodiment of his country's national spirit, particularly of the patriotic ardour that flourished in the years following the declaration of independence from Russia (1917). He made his name as a sculptor of war memorials, and his most characteristic works are tributes to national heroes such as the monument to the runner Paavo Nurmi (1925, the best-known cast is outside the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki), and the bust of the composer Sibelius (1928, several casts exist). Aaltonen worked in bronze, stone, and other materials, including glass (he also painted and made collages). His style was heroic and essentially naturalistic, although sometimes touched with Cubist stylizations.

Subjects: Art.

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