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C.E. Sjöstrand: Facade decoration of Ateneum, 1887. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Facade decoration of Ateneum / Ateneumin julkisivuveistokset

Artist C.E. Sjöstrand

, Helsinki

The Ateneum building, designed by architect Theodor Höijer, was completed in 1887. It was originally built for the art schools and collections of the Fine Arts Association of Finland and the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design. The inscription “Concordia res parvae crescunt” (Small things grow in harmony) on the facade refers to the coexistence of the fine and the applied arts in the same building.

Execution of the facade’s decoration was commissioned from sculptor Carl Eneas Sjöstrand. In the triangular tympanum, the Goddess of Art is holding wreaths above the symbols of the fine and the applied arts. The tympanum is supported by four caryatids, or female figures, who are holding the symbols of sculpture, painting, geometry and architecture. Above the main entrance are the portraits of the three great masters of art, Bramante, Phidias and Raphael. The rest of the building was decorated by sculptor Ville Vallgren and decorative sculptor Magnus von Wright.

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

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