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The Boy and The Fish

Artist Viktor Jansson

Väinämöisenkatu 29 (courtyard), Töölö, Helsinki

Viktor Jansson prepared the first version of his ‘The Boy and the Fish’ fountain under commission from Director O. Öflund, to be placed in the park of Öflund’s mansion Gillobacka in Kirkkonummi. This piece later vanished.

A piece identical to the one on Väinämöisenkatu is now located in Eira (Armfeltinkatu 13, 00150 Helsinki). This version of the ‘Boy and the Fish’ is a dynamic piece of sculpture where a fish tries shake a boy off its back. The subject is a good example of the artist’s joie de vivre. What is remarkable in the work is Jansson’s ability to portray movement in a static object.

Viktor Jansson is the father of Tove Jansson who made him the model of the grandfather in her Moomin books. Viktor Jansson’s works were first exhibited in 1918. During his career he progressed from classical expression to a simpler style which became rather decorative towards the end of his life – yet he never abandoned the depiction of human figures, an essential characteristic of his work.

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

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