Saturday, 2 November 2013

Thomas More Square E1

The Swedish sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955) began creating angel musicians in 1918 on the death of his closest friend, the composer Emil Sj√∂gren in 1918. The original Angel Musician with Flute was a memorial statue, but it was followed by angels with trumpet, tuba, panpipe and clarinet. They stand, singly and in small bands, in gardens mainly in Sweden and the US, where Milles was a teacher for many years. His naked figures often offended delicate American sensibilities - he used to say that he had a 'fig-leaf maker on retainer'.
Milles worked for a while in the studio of Auguste Rodin. When he left he feared being written-off as a mere imitator of the great man, so he deliberately struck out on his own path to create figures that seem to fly or float, supported by discrete steel pillars.
This one was placed in Thomas More Square when it was built in 1991, unveiled by art collector and modern architecture fan Lord Palumbo.
If you like this charming figure, you can buy an official, 59cm high copy cast in bronze by one of the foundries that Milles himself used, from the Millesgarden, the sculptor's summer home and lifetime project. A bargain at 19,000 krone (£1,850 approx).

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