Mother and Child (Motherly Love)
Eemil Halonen 1915
Eemil Halonen’s sculpture Äiti ja lapsi (Mother and Child) is on the family grave of his parents, Jussi Halonen and Anna-Liisa Puurunen. The work is also known as Motherly Love.
According to recollections, the model for the child was Aino, the daughter of the artist’s cousin Lyyli Kähkönen (née Halonen, 1883 –1959). Lyyli Kähkönen said that she had held her daughter when Halonen was working on the child of the sculpture, but the model for the mother was the artist’s wife, Alli Halonen. Born in 1913, Aino was two years old at the time.
Two later cast replicas of the piece have been made. They are in front of the Haapaniemi day-care centre in Kuopio and in the Riistavesi community service centre.
Photograph: Kai Luttinen, Halonen Museum Foundation
Jussi Halonen (1840–1931) and Anna-Liisa Puurunen (1854–1909)
Eemil Halonen was born in 1875 on the Halonen family’s old farm at Linnansalmi in Lapinlahti. His father Jussi Halonen (1840–1931) and his mother Anna-Liisa Puurunen (1854–1909) were progressive farmers, who also appreciated culture and learning. The mother read the Kalevala epic to the children and the family subscribed to a Finnish-language newspaper. The Halonens were active in founding a primary school in the locality and they also appreciated national educational pursuits.
Thirteen children were born into the family, three of whom died before reaching the age of fifteen. Eemil Halonen was the eldest son and he had close relations with his parents.
Owing to economic problems, the family had to give up the farm in 1888. They became members of the landless rural population with no regular employment or a permanent place to live. The growing numbers of the landless population became a major societal problem, especially in the eastern parts of Finland.
After completing carpentry school and his studies in art, Eemil Halonen returned to Lapinlahti for several years. In 1903, he bought a farm property called Uudispiha in the village of Nerkoo and invited his childhood family to live there. They grew grain and raised cattle together. Five years later, Eemil Halonen bought back the old family farm at Linnansalmi.
Eemil Halonen liked to depict members of his family, often using them as his models. He made sculpted portraits of, among other relatives and family members, his mother (1909) and father (1913).
Linnansalmentie 2, 73100 Lapinlahti