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Johannes Haapasalo: Nyrkkeilijät / The Boxers, 1932. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Hanna Kukorelli

Nyrkkeilijät / The Boxers

Artist Johannes Haapasalo

Paasivuoren puistikko, Siltasaari, Helsinki

“The Boxers” depicts two boxers modelled by Uuno Pitkä and Armas Wilkman from the Jyryn-Nyrkkelijät boxing club. Haapasalo’s (1880-1965) work succeeds in capturing the charged anticipation of the frozen moment. The viewer is left with a tingling feeling of the forced arrest of dynamic movement and of its anticipated release.

The work was completed in 1930, and it was redeemed in a sculpture competition organized by the City of Helsinki. During the same competition, the works “Convolvulus”, “The Sundial” and “Bear on the Anthill” were also acquired by the City.

Johannes Haapasalo’s art is characterized by a severe Classicism, based on the ideals of Renaissance art. His works are best described with the words tranquillity, calmness and harmony. Haapasalo was trained by, amongst others, Auguste Rodin, one of the reformers of French sculpture. “The Boxers” is cast in bronze and was unveiled in 1932. The work belongs to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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