Art and Handiwork by Theodor Lundberg at the Stockholm National Museum, Sweden

In this episode, we’ll be visiting the Art and Crafts statue (also known as ‘Art and Handiwork’) by Theodor Lundberg at the Stockholm National Museum, Sweden. Welcome to Art, Culture & Books with me, Anthony King.

You can find this sculpture at the entrance of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden. It’s made of Bronze and is over 2.3 metres tall. The statue was gifted to the museum in 1897 by the wholesaler Edvard Cederlund. This is an allegorical piece and I think … and I stress, I think… it’s Diana and Apollo.

In Roman history, Diana stands as a significant goddess, primarily associated with the countryside, nature, hunters, wildlife, childbirth, crossroads, the night, and the Moon. She is identified with the Greek goddess Artemis and is acknowledged as a virgin goddess and guardian of childbirth. Initially, Roman gods were perceived as divine forces with a presence and will, devoid of a specific physical form. Apollo, a prominent figure among the Greek gods, holds recognition as a deity of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, and various other domains. Known for his complexity, Apollo is the offspring of Zeus and Leto, and he shares a twinship with Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Do you think I’ve got this one right? Who do you think it is?

Theodor Lundberg was a Swedish sculptor who was born in Stockholm in 1852 and died in Rome in 1927. He grew up in a poor home and became fatherless at a young age when he also apprenticed with the medal engraver Lea Ahlborn at a Mint. He later became a student at The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, then became a professor at the academy in 1908 and the director in 1911. Lundberg was known to have been one of the most engaged artists in public art and sculpture which worked so well with the tastes of the Oscarian era. The Oscarian era was a historical epoch in Scandinavia, when Oscar II was king of Sweden and Norway (from 1872 to around 1907) during the Swedish–Norwegian Union.

By Anthony King (c)