Another example of Walter Runeberg's (the designer of the masonic J.L. Runeberg statue) hidden in plain sight symbolism: Art's Genius (Taiteen haltija).
A closer look at the details reveals the hidden reference to masonry - a square, a compass and a hammer.
|Masonic symbolism: Square and compass with a hammer|
What makes these masonic symbols in Runeberg's works interesting, is the fact that he lived during a time when Freemasonry was forbidden in Finland.
According the official sources, Freemasonry arrived in Finland in 1758 from Sweden. During that time Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom. After the Finnish war between Sweden and Russia, Sweden lost Finland to Russia in 1809.
Under the rule of the Russian emperor Alexander I, Freemasonry was officially forbidden in the Russian empire in 1822. Finland got its independence in 1917 and in 1922 Freemasonry officially "returned" back to the country.
How do you ban secret societies? Well, you don't. It's impossible. The brotherhoods will just go underground and continue in secrecy. This is exactly what happened in 19th century Finland.
Walter Runeberg lived during the years 1838–1920. During his lifetime, huge amount of the famous and powerful people in Finland were secretly Freemasons. There is plenty of photographic evidence to support this claim. The amount of pictures of these people with their masonic poses of "the hidden hand" and "the lion's paw" reveals the fact that there was a large and very active masonic brotherhood in the higher echelons of Finnish society during the time when Freemasonry was officially forbidden. Large amount of famous artists, statesmen, businessmen, academics etc. were Freemasons.
Still, none of the official history books admit this. Why? Because it would reveal the fact, that there has been a powerful secret society of influential people working behind the scenes in Finland for a very long time - and still is. Even today the most famous people in Finland are very shy to admit their ties to these brotherhoods.
Photos of famous 19th century Finns with masonic hand signs:
|Walter Runeberg with "the lion's paw"|
|Johan Ludvig Runeberg with "the hidden hand"|
|J. V. Snellman|