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Walter Runeberg

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Title: Walter Runeberg  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Helsinki Senate Square, Maamme, Alexander II of Russia, Architecture of Finland
Collection: 1838 Births, 1920 Deaths, 19Th-Century Sculptors, 20Th-Century Sculptors, Finnish Sculptors, People from Porvoo
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Walter Runeberg

Sculptor Walter Runeberg in his studio, 1910's
Alexander II Monument, Senate Square, Helsinki

Walter Magnus Runeberg (1838-1920) was a Finnish neo-classical sculptor.

Runeberg was born in Porvoo as the eldest son of Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg.[1] He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki and with sculptor Carl Eneas Sjöstrand. From 1858 through 1869 he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under Herman Wilhelm Bissen, acquiring a clear influence from the neoclassical style of Bissen's master Bertel Thorvaldsen.

After periods living and working in Rome and Paris, Runeberg produced many of Helsinki's best-known examples of monumental public art. The largest is the Alexander II Monument in Senate Square, a commission awarded jointly to Runeberg and sculptor Johannes Takanen, then completed by Runeberg after Takanen's death in 1885.[2] The pedestal features several allegorical figures. Notably, the figure representing Law is a version of the Suomi-neito, the Finnish maiden, here cloaked in bearskin.[3]


Runeberg's work includes:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Undressing the maid: gender, sexuality, and the body in the construction of the Finnish nation, Johanna Valenius, 2004, page 20
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