The Milles family

In the last years of the 19th century two youthful artists came by separate paths from their different homelands to Paris. Sculptor Carl Milles (b. 1875) arrived in the artistic capital in 1897 from Sweden and his wife-to-be, painter Olga Granner (b.1874) came to Paris together with her sister in 1898 from their home in Graz, Austria. The following year Carl and Olga were introduced by her friend, the Greek painter Niki Asprioti, became engaged and married five years later in Munich 1905.

Carl Milles

Carl Milles was born and raised in Lagga near Uppsala, the son of an officer, major Emil Anderson. Carl's mother, Valborg died when he was just three years old. Carl began his schooling in Stockholm, but left prematurely and became apprenticed to a cabinet maker. Later he attended evening classes in woodwork, carving and model­ling at the Stockholm Technical School.

In 1897 Carl was awarded a grant by the Swedish Handicraft Society, permitting him to travel to Paris, where he supported himself doing ornamental carpentry while studying anatomy at Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1899 he exhibited an original sculpture at the Paris Salon and continued to exhibit there each year until 1906. 

Olga Milles

Olga Granner's long years of art studies began in Graz at Landschaftliche Zeichen-Akademie 1886-92, with the prospect of later becoming an art teacher. Her education continued with a scholarship to Azbe-Schule in Munich 1893-95 and was completed at Academie Colarossi in Paris, 1899-1901. 

Ruth Milles

Sculptor Ruth Milles was born April 19, 1873 at Bällsta Manor in Vallentuna. She began her art studies at the Tekniska Skolan in Stockholm, 1890-93 and continued at the Royal Academy of Art, 1894-98.

Upon completion she travelled to Paris, where she remained for several years executing sculpture and illustrations. Her summers were spent in the village of Briac in Britanny, depicting the fishing folks life in sculpture. Ruth Milles was awarded the Special prize in the Paris Salon 1902.