Wikström (1864 - 1942)
Wikström studied art in Finnish Art Association's drawing
school in Turku and Helsinki, in Art Academy in Vienna and
also in Académie Julian école des arts
Decoratif in Paris. At his time art nouveau, jugend
and arts & crafts movement were gaining popularity in Europe
and these ideologies also inspired Finnish artists. In Finland
this era was called National Romanticism and Wikström
as well as other artists sought inspiration and motifs for
their art from their own country's cultural heritage and mythology.
Finnish artists studying and working in Paris longed for their
country's unspoiled nature, and air laden with the fragrance
of resin. Some decided to retreat to the wilderness of Finland
to build crofts for ourselves as Wikström reported in
a letter to Axel Gallén dated 1898. Wikström
was the first to carry out his plan and he found ideal place
for himself in Sääksmäki by Lake Vanaja.
Visavuori, Emil Wikström sculpted most of his work and
many original casts and studies are now exhibited in the Visavuori
museum. Emil Wikström was the most important Finnish
sculptor of his time. Best remembered for his grand public
monuments in Helsinki and other cities across Finland, Wikström
produced portraits of many statesmen, politicians, businessmen,
family and friends, as well as figures from Finnish mythology.