Carl Milles

Folke Filbyter

c.1926

Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 730 x 385 x 335 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1927
Reference
N04248

Display caption

This is the model for the central figure of a fountain erected in Linkoping, Sweden, in December 1927. The figural programme of the fountain was devoted to the history and legend of the Folkungs, a powerful family who became royal during the early Middle Ages. The legend tells that Folke Filbyter rode around Sweden for many years in search of his only grandson, afterwards the founder of the Folkunga dynasty, who had been stolen by the monks. In this sculpture Filbyter is seen riding his horse across a stream.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Carl Milles 1875-1955

N04248 Folke Filbyter c.1926

Not inscribed
Bronze, 28 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 11 3/4 (73 x 37 x 30)
Purchased from the artist (Lewis Publications 'A' Fund) 1927
Exh: Sketches and Fragments of Monuments executed in Cities in Sweden by Carl Milles, Tate Gallery, February-April 1927 (15); RSA, Edinburgh, April-September 1939 (86)
Lit: M.P.-Verneuil, Carl Milles: Sculpteur Suédois (Paris-Brussels 1929), Vol.1, pp.78-88, Vol.2, note on pl.78, plaster repr. pl.78; Stanley Casson, XXth Century Sculptors (Oxford-London 1930), p.39; Meyric R. Rogers, Carl Milles: an Interpretation of his Work (New Haven-London 1940), pp.26, 53
Repr: E.H. Ramsden, Twentieth Century Sculpture (London 1949), pl.61

Model for the central figure of a fountain in Linköping, Sweden, devoted to the history and legend of the Folkungs, a powerful family who came to royal dignity during the early Middle Ages. The legend tells that Folke Filbyter rode round Sweden for many years in search of his only grandson, afterwards the founder of the Folkunga dynasty, who had been stolen by the monks. In the sculpture he is seen riding his horse over a stream. On the granite sides of the basin are reliefs with twenty-five panels illustrating incidents and personalities of the period of the Folkungs from the 12th to the 14th centuries.

The fountain was formally opened in December 1927. Another cast of the model for Folke Filbyter was acquired by the Belgian State in 1927 and presented to the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, in 1928 under the title 'The Legendary Horseman', and there are further copies in the Konstmuseet at Gothenburg and the Millesgården at Lidingö. The bronzes have no edition number, but it is believed that there may be altogether as many as twelve. (Information from the Millesgården kindly communicated by Nils Ryndel).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.519-20, reproduced p.519