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Peeping Yrjö Liipola


Yrjö Liipola Koski, 1881 – Koski, 1971

Date 1906
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze

56 × 39 × 22 cm

Inventory number 3298.U
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Originally trained as a furniture maker, Yrjö Liipola lived in Hungary from 1904 as a political refugee from Finland, which was then under Russian tsarist control, to escape conscription into the Russian army. Liipola studied sculpture under Alajos Stróbl and Ede Kallós, and soon afterwards he married a Hungarian woman. Besides working as a sculptor, he also pursued a political career, and between 1925 and 1934 he performed tasks for the Finnish consulate in Hungary. In 1934 he moved back to Finland, where he served as Hungarian consul until 1937. He retained a close friendship with Hungary for the rest of his life.
He was a versatile naturalist master, and during his long life he produced numerous sculptures. He regularly visited the artists’ colony in Szolnok, where he worked alongside Zsigmond Kisfaludi Strobl and other great Hungarian artists of the period. Liipola was particularly adept at carving marble, and he became a popular portrait sculptor among members of the Hungarian aristocracy and the cultural elite.
As Liipola lived in Hungary in the early 1900s, his works reflect the influence of Hungarian art at the time. The most visible aspect of his sculpture from this period is the symbolism associated with the Hungarian Secession (art nouveau), and his primary objective was to capture motion and rhythm in his forms. The first decade of the century was Liipola’s most fertile period artistically, and from a Hungarian perspective his most important. Among his works he made then was the sculpture entitled Voyeur, whose sneaking, crooked posture expresses intense alertness and caution.

Bianka Boda

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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