Wäinö Aaltonen: Monument of Aleksis Kivi
The head of Aleksis Kivi sculpted by Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) and placed in front of the Turku City Theatre is connected to the memorial of Kivi in the Railway Square in Helsinki. The memorial was commissioned from Aaltonen after competitions in 1927-1928 and 1930. There were no photographs of Kivi, so the statue is modelled after drawings made beside the writer’s deathbed. Aaltonen’s design is an idealization of the features of a writer who was reflective and suffered for his art.
Aaltonen donated the plaster mould of the memorial in Helsinki to the City of Turku on the condition that it was cast in bronze. The sculpture was produced in cooperation between the city and the Turku Aleksis Kivi Club, and it was donated to the citizens of Turku in 1949.
The head monument was first placed in front of the University of Turku’s main building of the time in the Market Square on 21 May 1949. It was moved to its current location by the Turku City Theatre on 8 September 1962.