Category: Millesgården

Fragmentary Blue

Man and Pegasus statue by Carl Milles, at Millesgården, Sweden. Photo © Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com
Man and Pegasus by Carl Milles, Millesgården, Sweden. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

Why make so much of fragmentary blue

In here and there a bird, or butterfly,

Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,

When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)—

Though some savants make earth include the sky;

And blue so far above us comes so high,

It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

by Robert Frost (1874–1963)


Back at Millesgården

The stairway from Little Austria/Olga's Terrace to the Upper Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
The stairway from Little Austria/Olga’s Terrace to the Upper Terrace, Millesgården. All photos © Mihaela Limberea.

One of the joys in otherwise a pretty bleak summer (hey, COVID-19!) has been the re-opening of Millesgården. Not only for me but apparently for a large number of other people. I’ve been there several times since the re-opening at the end of April, and there were a lot of people every time. Mostly Swedish tourists though, usually there are busloads of foreign tourists. In any case, it’s good to see Millesgården open again, and so many people enjoying it.

Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
The Venus Fountain at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The Venus Fountain (1917) showing the godess’ birth from the sea.

The Middle Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The Middle Terrace with its’ row of lemon trees.

The Middle Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Middle Terrace – on the right hand you can see The Genius (1940).

The Genius at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The statue is a replica of a grave monument to the Swedish actor Gösta Ekman.

Cymbalaria muralis grows on the steps of  Olga's Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Cymbalaria muralis grows on the steps of Olga’s Terrace.

Olgas Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Olga’s Terrace, Carl Milles tribute to his Austrian-born wife. Olgas was an artist too; she was a painter.

Olga's Terrace, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
The Aganippe Fountain at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The Aganippe Fountain (1955). The indoor fountain was created for the Metropolitan Museum but has later been moved to Brookgreen Gardens (South Carolina). I like how Milles re-interpreted the Greek myth and changed the muses, typically portraited as women, to young boys.

The Water Nymph at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The Water Nymph, part of the The Aganippe Fountain.

The Aganippe Fountain at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
The Aganippe Fountain: the musicians (and in the background, the painter). Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The Aganippe Fountain: the musicians (and in the background, the painter).

Roses at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Rose is a is a rose is a rose. (Gertrude Stein)

Clematis at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Small flowered clematis on the upper terrace.

Roses at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
The Lower Terrace with St. Martin at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The wonderful flower beds on the Lower Terrace with St. Martin sharing his mantle with a beggar in the background. The statue of St. Martin is part of the St. Martin Fountain from 1955, Carl Milles’ last completed work of art.

The Lower Terrace at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The flowerbed has been created by Ulf Nordfjell, a well-known Swedish garden designer. The theme this year is Bumblebees and bees go pink.

Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
Angel's trumpets at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

You have no idea how hard it was to take this photo. This is a small service area, and water hoses, buckets, wheelbarrows, or other garden tools are very often strewn about. This time there were two wheelbarrows and one huge waste bag (the kind of bag that has to get picked up by a truck due to its weight).

It is a quite pleasant spot, when not encumbered with wheelbarrows and the like, and I really wanted to capture it. I know that many people would just retouch the photo and remove the stuff, but that’s not me. I like a challenge, and making the most with what there is, not create an illusion. I also think that creating those composite photos, adding bits and pieces to create one fantastic image, is not what photography is about. As all artists know, creativity thrives on constraints.

Angel's trumpets at Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

The large flowers of angel’s trumpets Brugmansia suaveolens. All Brugmansia species are amongst the most toxic of ornamental plants!

Lemon trees at Anne's house, Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

Lemon trees in from of Anne’s house, a two-room house built by Carl Milles for his secretary.

Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com
Millesgården sculpture park, Lidingö, Sweden. Photo by Mihaela Limberea. www.limberea.com

I’ll stop here for now (congratulations if you’ve made this far!), but you can be sure there’ll be more Millesgården posts on this blog.

 In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and soldier on. And don’t forget to laugh. 


The Fairest Thing We Can Experience Is The Mysterious

Angel Musicians by Carl Milles at Millesgården, Stockholm. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a sniffed-out candle. – Albert Einstein


A Brief Visit: Millesgården

Angel Musicians by Carl Milles. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

While other countries in Europe are under a lockdown or the freedom of movement has been much limited, Sweden goes its’ own way. The elementary schools, kindergarten, and shops are still open, the limit for permissible meetings is 500 people* and there is no mandatory curfew. However, more restrictions apply almost every day so it’s likely we’ll see more movement constraints eventually.

* A few hours after writing this, the limit has been set at 50 people.

Some of the museums and theaters have already closed on their own though, so my husband and I went to Millesgården last week in case it would close too. And right it was because Millesgården closed as well – the day after. We saw the announcement when we returned home.

Angel Musicians by Carl Milles. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

Carl Milles (1875 – 1955) was a Swedish sculptor. Millesgården, that he designed and built in 1908, was his home and is now a museum with Milles’ antique collection, sculpture garden, and art gallery.

The Hand of God by Carl Milles. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

This is my favorite sculpture of Carl Milles. I probably have hundreds of pictures of it, I never tire of photographing it.

Angel Musicians at sunset. Photo © Mihaela Limberea
Millesgården – the Lower Terrace. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

The garden is inspired by Italy’s Mediterranean gardens and it’s a work of art in itself. Carl Milles and his Austrian wife Olga, an artist herself, spent the winters in Italy that both loved.

Angel Musicians by Carl Milles. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

My husband and I both love Millesgården. We used to visit it very often as we’re annual cardholders and it lies 10 only minutes from our home. During our seven years in Switzerland, these visits were one of the things we missed most, and we were looking forward to them when moving back to Sweden. Unfortunately, the corona pandemic put many things on hold, Millesgården visits included.

The Hand of God by Carl Milles. Photo © Mihaela Limberea

But life goes on and even the coronavirus will eventually be contained. When Millesgården will open again, you can be sure we’ll back in a heartbeat.

In the meantime: stay healthy, stay safe, stay calm and wash your hands. And don’t forget to laugh.