Ivar Johnsson, Woman by the sea

Ivar Johnsson
Woman by the sea

Ivar Johnsson (Swedish 1885–1970) worked in an expressive, classical style reminiscent of Carl Milles. When teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts he started the very first classes on the properties of different materials for sculpting. Johnson studied in Paris in 1911–12. Back in Sweden he collaborated successfully with several well-known architects of the time. This made Johnson a sought after artist in commissions for public places, such as the facade sculptures for the Royal Institute of Technology and the reliefs decorating the entrance hall of the Stockholm City Library.

Woman by the sea (bronze 1932 purchased in 1962) is a sketch for a monument commemorating the victims of naval war. It is a touching description of controlled grief in the form of a monumental, simplistic sculpture of a sailor’s wife. The five meter high final version from 1934 stands on a column in Gothenburg harbour and is one of the artist’s best-loved sculptures.