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Carl-Gustav Lilius: Cordula, 1968. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum


Artist Carl-Gustav Lilius

, Helsinki

The bronze sculpture, Cordula, belongs to a series of winged female sculptures which Lilius created in the 1960s. One version, named Lenore, is now situated in the town of Hanko, west of Helsinki. The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland) commissioned the artist to make the work entitled Paratiisitanssi (transl. Paradise Dance) which, after the artist fell terminally ill, remained only in it’s early form, or creation. The Cordula sculpture was later realised, from the plaster model to bronze, under permission of the artist’s family after the artist’s death. It was inaugurated on 4th May, 2000.

Carl-Gustaf Lilius was not only a sculptor and drawer but also a painter, philosopher and writer, who perseveredly defended freedom of speech. His works bravely revealed expressions of sexualilty, reminiscent of the works of Henrik Tikkasen. Relationships between men and women were also central to Lilius’s oeuvre. He evens plays with idea of the bird-like female character as a form of self-portraiture. Inspiration for his work also came from his own wife, the beloved children’s book author, Irmelin Sandman Lilius.

The surrealist human bird-like theme is seen in many different forms in Lilius’s works, drawings, book illustrations, and sculptures. Lilius’s fountain Lintu (transl. Bird) from the year 1959 is situated in Hanko’s Sibelius Park. The original scuplture was from created in chicken wire.

The work doesn’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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