Carl Milles


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(b Lagga, nr. Uppsala, 23 June 1875; d Lidingö, nr. Stockholm, 19 Sept. 1955).

Sweden's greatest sculptor. From 1897 to 1904 he lived in Paris, where he worked for a time as assistant to Rodin, then moved to Munich (1904–6), where he was influenced by Hildebrand. In the following two years he lived in Rome, Stockholm, and Austria, then settled on the island of Lidingö in 1908. His travels had given him a wide knowledge of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art, as well as of recent developments, and he forged from these varied influences an eclectic but vigorous style. He is best known for his numerous large-scale fountains, distinguished by rhythmic vitality and inventive figure types (he liked to fuse classical and Nordic types such as tritons and goblins), and sometimes by a grotesque humour. From 1931 to 1945 he was professor of sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; his work in the USA includes fountains in Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and St Louis. He became an American citizen in 1945 but returned to Sweden in 1951 and died at Lidingö, where his home is now an open-air museum of his work, known as Millesgården.

Subjects: Art.

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