According to the Einar Jónsson Museum, the eponymous artist was Iceland’s first sculptor. He lives from 1874-1954. Earlier in his career he drew on Icelandic folklore as well as religious and mythological motifs for subjects. After living in Rome around the turn of the century, he “emphasized the need for artists to forge their own path and cultivate their originality and imagination instead of following in the footsteps of others…he developed a figurative language composed of interpretable symbols, personification and allegory.” “Protection” (pictured above) is one of my favorite of his works. I love walking to the (free!) sculpture garden to revisit the hauntingly realistic faces and try to understand the complex symbols in his work.
You can see Einar Jónsson’s works all around the city as well as in the museum and beautiful sculpture garden right next to Hallgrímskirkja. In fact, the museum website features an excellent map for taking a walking tour of his works in City Center, which includes “The Spell Broken” (pictured here in the snow) along the path encircling Tjörnin. For those who like to wander, this route also happens to be a great “intro” to downtown Reykjavik. [These photos are unedited, 35mm film shots taken by me with a Canon EOS Rebel 2000]