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Carl Magnus Mellgren: Philosophy, Medicine, Theology and Justice, 1850. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Filosofia, lääketiede…/ Philosophy, Medicine, Theology and Justice

Artist Carl Magnus Mellgren

Unioninkatu 36, Kluuvi, Helsinki

The Helsinki University Main Library was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and completed in 1840. The allegorical reliefs on the facade were made by the Swedish artist Carl Magnus Mellgren who had lived and worked in Finland since 1838. Mellgren was an extremely skilled sculptor who concentrated on medals and especially commemorative coins.

The allegorical figures are divided into two groups with that on the left symbolizing theology and justice, and the other symbolizing philosophy and medicine. The four figures represent the four faculties the University had at the time. They can be identified by the attributes they carry: the book and staff of Philosophy, the adder of Medicine, the cross of Theology and the scales of Justice.

The reliefs don’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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