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Wäinö Aaltonen: P. E. Svinhufvud, 1961. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Yehia Eweis

P. E. Svinhufvud

Artist Wäinö Aaltonen

, Helsinki

Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (1861-1944) was the third President of the Republic from 1931 to 1937. In November 1917, Svinhufvud formed the so-called Independence Senate which issued the declaration of independence for Finland in December. Svinhufvud also led the delegation which travelled to St. Petersburg in 1917 to secure recognition for Finnish independence from Lenin’s government.

The statue of Svinhufvud was commissioned in 1957 from sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) by the P. E. Svinhufvud Memorial Foundation. The statue was unveiled on Svinhufvud’s centennial on 15 December 1961 and it belongs to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

The statue depicts President Svinhufvud with his left hand in his pocket and his right hand clenched on top of a column. The pose is similar to the one which Aaltonen used for the statue of another president, K. J. Ståhlberg. Svinhufvud’s likeness is typical of the representational tradition which predominated in Finnish monumental sculpture in the early 20th century. The statue is bronze, the pedestal is made of red granite.

The statue talks to you:

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