Carl Milles

Carl Milles, Orpheus Fountain Figures, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design, Bronze

Carl Milles was a Swedish sculptor who studied in Paris, working in Auguste Rodin’s studio and slowly gaining recognition as a sculptor. In 1906 he and his wife, artist Olga Milles, bought porperty on the island Lidingo, near Stockholm. There they built a residence and a workspace for both of them. It was turned into a foundation and donated to the Swedish people in 1936, after Milles went to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in the United States.

Carl Milles

Carl Milles, Poseidon Fountain in Gothenburg, Sweden

Carl Milles was a Swedish sculptor born in 1875 in Lagga outside Uppsala, Sweden. He moved to Paris and studied art, working in Auguste Rodin’s studio, gaining recognition as a sculptor. Milles sculpted the Poseidon statue in Gothenburg, the Gustaf Vasa statue at the Stockholm Nordic Museum, the Orpheus group outside the Stockholm Concert Hall and the Fountain of Faith in Falls Church, Virginia.

In Gothenburg’s main square, Götaplatsen, the imposing  twenty-three foot figure of Poseidon stands proudly atop the fountain. Completed in 1931 by Carl Milles, it has become an icon for Gothenburg.

Poseidon is a fitting figure to watch over the maritime city of Gothenburg. As the Greek god of the sea, he hears sailors’ prayers for calm waters and safe returns. As if to reiterate his position as the master of the waters, Milles sculpted him proudly lifting a large fish and shell toward the heavens.