Edvard Eriksen 1876-1959
The sculptor Edvard Christian Johannes Eriksen (E.E.) was born on March 10th 1876 in Copenhagen. He was trained as a sculptor in 1895. In 1900 he married Eline Vilhelmine Møller born 6/2-1881 and they had five children.
In 1902 E.E.'s first sculpture, "The Sufferer", was accepted at one of Charlottenborg's exhibitions. The turning point in his career came in 1904 when the State Museum of Art bought his sculpture "Hope". The next year in 1905 he received a prize for his sculpture "Doom".
In 1908 he was asked to make three marble sculptures for King Christian IX and Queen Louise's sarcophagus Roskilde Cathedral. Today you can see these beautiful sculptures "Grief, Memory and Love" in the cathedral.
E.E. travelled for several years with his family to Florence, Rome and Carrara seeking inspiration and learning how to sculpt in marble. He was made an honorary professor at the Academy of Art in Carrara.
H.C. Andersen wrote the fairy tale "The Little Mermaid". Fini Henriques composed the music to the ballet of the same title, and art lover and brewer Carl Jacobsen (Carlsberg) asked E.E. to create a little mermaid. Naturally E.E.'s lovely wife was model as she was for all his sculptures. The Little Mermaid was mounted at Langelinie, Copenhagen 23 August 1913, a present from Mr. Jacobsen to the people of Copenhagen. The Little Mermaid has since been photographed, kissed, hugged and admired by millions of people from all over the world and has become a symbol of Denmark.
Bronze statues of Numskull Jack, also made by E.E., are found in Odense, Aschaffenburg and Los Angeles at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen has 12 marble reliefs by E.E., two inside the museum and ten outside on the north and south walls.
In 1932 E.E. was awarded the Order of the Dannebrog.
Edvard Eriksen died 21/1-1959 and his wife 24/9-1963. They are burried at Vestre Cemetery.
Today E.E.'s grandchildren safeguard the interests of the sculptures. Bronze statues of The Little Mermaid in three sizes are available for purchase through the family.