The Middle Terrace

The great staircase leads up to the Middle Terrace that was completed at the end of the 1910s. Here we find the fountain Venus and the Shell, whose curb sticks out on the long, narrow terrace. The columns facing the water were hewn in granite from Vätö by the stonemason Per Palm.

The Sun Singer 1926

The Sun Singer at Millesgården depicts a naked male body, with no head or arms. In order to see the original sculpture, go to Strömparterren in Stockholm. Here the Sun Singer has both arms and a head. He wears a Greek helmet and his arms are raised towards the sky. He is facing east and his open mouth indicates that he is singing his hymn to the sun. 

Carl Milles created the Sun Singer on assignment from The Swedish Academy and worked on it for nearly ten years. The Swedish Academy had commissioned a commemorative monument dedicated to Esaias Tegnér, a writer and bishop in the 1800s. Instead of portraying Esaias Tegnér, Carl Milles chose to focus on a poem by Tegnér, Address to the Sun, from the 1810s, and to sculpt the singer. On the pedestal a medallion shows a portrait of the poet.

The naked man with the helmet has several likenesses with a Greek god. Could it be Apollo, the god of light, poetry and music from Greek mythology, who sings thus to the sun. It took Milles many years to finalize the Sun Singer, in part because the Swedish Academy and the Tegnér family were dissatisfied with a naked man representing the writer. When Milles made a casting for Millesgården, he chose to omit the arms and head, creating in such a manner a sculpture which resembles an antique sculpture.

A curious detail present in both versions of the Sun Singer is the small tortoise under the right foot of the male figure. Why is it there? Is it because the man is standing in a classical pose, a so-called contrapost, where the weight of the body is resting on one leg, while the other leg is pushed forward slightly. It may have been tempting to place the tortoise under the forward leg, as a little surprise. Or is it because the tortoise is allied with Apollo? Apollo´s first lyre was made from the shell of a tortoise.

Wild Boar 1929

Both wild boars were created in 1929. Carl Milles created them on order from an English lord. They were eventually acquired by the Swedish Royal Court and can now be found at Ulriksdal Palace. Carl Milles sculpted many animals. He was often interested in heavyset, large animals, such as bears, elephants and wild boars.

Wild boars also appear in Greek mythology. Beautiful Adonis awakened the interest of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Ares, the god of war, also called Mars in the Roman Empire, became jealous. He disguised himself as a boar and killed Adonis. Mars is a planet. Look at the front legs of the boar. There is a beetle and a lizard.

Venus and the shell 1917

According to the myth, Venus was born forth from the froth of the sea and brought ashore in a shell. She is the goddess of love. The sculpture was made as a sketch for a fountain which was to be placed in front of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. It was never completed.

The Roman goddess gave name to a planet. In Greek mythology the goddess of love is called Aphrodite.

Sven Hedin 1931

This is a sketch for a monument dedicated to Sven Hedin. The explorer Sven Hedin had been commissioned by the Chinese government to investigate the possibility of building car roads along the old caravan routes across the Gobi desert. In the sketch by Carl Milles, Sven Hedin is sitting astride a camel and peering through his sextant and measuring the height of the sun.

Spirit of Transportation 

An Indian carrying a canoe on his shoulder is among Carl Milles´ last works of art, from 1952. The artist had received an assignment to create a memorial monument in Detroit, the city of cars, dedicated to a famous personage in the transportation industry. Milles was inspired by the Indian culture and the Indian method of crossing land and sea, by paddling, or in shallow passages, by carrying the canoe. 
The Indian, or Indus, is a constellation in the southern hemisphere.
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