Emil Wikström

Emil Wikström (13 April 1864 in Turku – 26 September 1942 Helsinki) was a Finnish sculptor. Among his best known works are the Lyhdynkantajat ("Lantern Carriers") sculptures on the front of the Helsinki Central railway station and the monuments to Elias Lönnrot and Johan Vilhelm Snellman.[1]

Emil Wikström
Emil Wikström 1930s.jpg
Wikström in the 1930s
Born(1864-04-13)13 April 1864
Died26 September 1942(1942-09-26) (aged 78)
Helsinki, Finland
Known forSculpture


Portrait of him in his Paris atelier by Dora Wahlroos, his fiancée in 1892
Wikström in 1893

His parents were construction foreman Johan Erik Wikström and Gustava Samuelintytär Linnamäki.[1] Emil Wikström studied art in Finnish Art Association's drawing school in Turku and Helsinki, in the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and also in Académie Julian in Paris.[2] Wikström as well as other artists took inspiration for their art from their own country's cultural mythology. Finnish artists studied and worked in Paris. Some decided to retreat to the peace of forest, as Wikström wrote in a letter to Axel Gallén in 1898. Wikström was the first to carry out his plan and he found ideal place for himself in Sääksmäki by Vanajavesi.

Wikstörm working in Visavuori in 1932

Emil Wikström sculpted most of his work in Visavuori [fi], his home and studio in Valkeakoski.[3] Emil Wikström was the one of the most important Finnish sculptors of his time. Best remembered for his public monuments in Helsinki, the statues in railway station, and other cities across Finland, Wikström produced portraits of many statesmen, politicians, businessmen, family and friends, as well as figures from Finnish mythology.[1][4]

Representatives of the Association of Finnish Sculptors [fi] put down a wreath by his coffin, 2 October 1942

He is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki.[5]

Visavuori was opened to the public as a museum in 1967. There many of the original casts and studies are on display.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1890 he got engaged to painter Dora Wahlroos and they studied arts at Paris together. However they drifted apart and in 1895 Wikström married Alice Högström (1863–1950). They had three daughters: Estelle, Anna-Liisa and Mielikki Anne-Marie. Estelle's son Kari Suomalainen was a famous cartoonist,[1] and her daughter Saskia (a.k.a. Maaria Eira) was an opera singer and director.[7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Damaged in the bombings of the Continuation War, kept as it is.


  1. ^ a b c d Lindgren, Liisa (19 April 2017). "Wikström, Emil (1864 - 1942)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Emil Wikström (1864-1942)". Visavuori. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  3. ^ Friman, Terhi (20 August 2001). "Emil Wikström veisti Visavuoren maisemissa". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Emil Wikström CV" (PDF). Visavuori. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Hietaniemen hautausmaa – merkittäviä vainajia" (PDF). Helsingin seurakuntayhtymä. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  6. ^ Lehtinen, Nina (17 May 2018). "Emil Wickström oli aikansa menestynein julkisten taideteosten tekijä". Aamulehti. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Maaria Eira" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 19 June 1999. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Emil Wikström -veistoskierros" (PDF). Helsinki Art Museum. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  9. ^ Järvenpää, Eeva (1 October 2005). "Veistos tuotiin päätykolmioon salaa". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  10. ^ Sarmas, Iiris (24 November 2017). "Emil Wikström suomalaisuuden ytimessä". Agricola-verkko. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Kapteeni ja Rullatehtaan Aino - Aikamatka kaupungin juurille" (PDF). Ainopuiston Teatteri. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Näsikallion suihkukaivo". Tampere Art Museum. Retrieved 6 August 2020.

External linksEdit