Einar Jónsson bigraphy, stories - Sculptor

Einar Jónsson : biography

May 11, 1874 - October 18, 1954

Einar Jónsson (May 11, 1874 – October 18, 1954) was an Icelandic sculptor, born in Galtafell, a farm in southern Iceland.

Style of sculpture

Einar's works fall into three general categories. First, there were the public monuments that he was commissioned by the government to produce. The second group was private commissions that he obtained, consisting of portraits and cemetery monuments. The third collection consisted of the private works that he labored over as he became increasingly and deeply spiritually attuned and reclusive. In this large body of works Einar's spiritual nature is clearly seen, though it is often difficult to describe. The themes for these works are frequently drawn from Christ's consciousness, deep Cosmic spirituality like the eternal, infinite body and consciousness of the universe or God, Icelandic Mythology (Understanding of the so called Norse mythology or North-East, North-West and even Central-European War-Godhs mythology is just a part of Icelandic Mythology and understanding or description of these is mostly derived from the Icelandic one) and Icelandic folk tales. Einar's world is populated by Elfs, "Hidden people" or "Huldufolk", Vættir, Jötnar, angels and trolls, by beautiful women and bold warriors, and most of all a layer of symbolic content that can invariably be felt, but not always understood. A hint to some deeper meaning in Einar's powerful art is for example: "Karma" an eternal law of energy which returns all action towards its origin. Like in Christ's saying that one will reap what one has sown. That same law or eternal principle, changes the will and desires of the psyche or so to speak. This is because of the fed up condition or state of "mind" or psyche. One will eventually be tired and sick of destruction of nature or other people's lives and the desire for constructive live-giving actions will be dominant. One example of this is the sculpture "Skuld" where Einar uses Icelandic Mythological symbolism of "Urdur, Verdandi and Skuld" which were the witches of destiny or "Karma".

There are also very positive hints in other pieces of Einar's masterful art, to that, that every being or lifeform is eternal in its essence and evolves and chances on the outer sides or layers or material sides of its consciousness like the body, thoughts and desire. This outer part or detail of the consciousness is not even understood in physics, phenomenon of time, space and matter that is to say. The connection of the soul or rather its eternal and unchangeable part or layer of the whole consciousness to the world of time, space and matter is even further away from understanding except with symbols, and eventually later on, and only with self experience.

Henry Goddard Leach (see references) described Einar Jónsson like this:

All things considered, Jonsson is unique in the world of art.
If he had any prototype they were the symbolic artists of ancient
Egypt. But Jonsson's nearest spiritual relative is William Blake.

In recent years Einar's plasters have been cast in bronze and placed in the garden of his home and studio or in city parks in Reykjavík and throughout Iceland. He donated his work to the Einar Jónsson Museum in Reykjavík, which opened in 1923.http://www.grapevine.is/Art/ReadArticle/The-Einar-J%C3%B3nsson-Museum

Public monuments

  • The Outlaw - 1900
  • Jónas Hallgrímsson - 1907
  • Jón Sigurðsson - 1911
  • Christian IX - 1915
  • Þorfinnur Karlsefni - 1920
  • Hallgrímur Pétursson - 1922
  • Ingólfur Arnarson - 1924
  • Hannes Hafstein - 1931

Private commissions

  • Memorial to the Eisert Family of Lodz, Poland 1935
  • Monument to Dr. Charcot and His Ship - 1936
  • Memorial to a Lost Airliner - 1952
  • various cemetery markers including ones for Hannes Hafstein and his wife Ragnheiður
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine