The Water Carrier, this 2-meter high statue of Ásmundur Sveinsson, was made in Copenhagen in 1937

Ásmundur’s Water Carrier

On the corner of Lækjargata and Bankastræti in the heart of Reykjavík stands the Water Carrier (Vatnsberinn) by Ásmundur Sveinsson. When the City of Reykjavík bought the statue in 1948, its place was supposed to be where it now stands. It caused quite a stir; the petty-bourgeois found the statue ugly, and it was decided to not erect it.
The Water Carrier was cast in bronze in 1967 and place by Litlahlíð in Öskjuhlíð, away from any kind of traffic, it was simply hidden.

It was not until ten years ago, in 2011, that the statue was moved to its current location, at the suggestion of the Reykjavík Art Museum. The last well of Reykjavík was at that location. The sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982) was one of the pioneers of Icelandic art. At the beginning of his career, his works often met with opposition. Over time he has established himself as one of the nation’s greatest and most beloved artists.

Reykjavík 29/09/2021 07:47 – A7R IV: FE 1.2 / 50 GM

Photo and text: Páll Stefánsson