The two ladies look down on the cheerful hustle and bustle with a gentle and friendly expression. Naked, back to back, right on Mosebacke torg, they don’t seem to be ashamed of being nude. Quite the contrary. One of them is stretched out, hands behind her head, emphasizing her beautiful body. The other holds a jar, pouring water over both of their backs. She too is showing off her physical charmes
Are they muses? Or goddesses of poetry? The location of the sculpture in front of the Sudra Teater seems to suggest this. Indeed, artist Nils Sjögren (1894 – 1952) was initially working on a sculpture of Venus, the Roman goddess of love and erotic desire. However, when he heard about the fate of two women, he decided to create a monument to them and their love.
These two ladies have occupied one of Stockholm’s most beautiful squares since 1945. However, very few, if any, people that may be lounging in the square know their sad story.
The two women were lesbians. Out of desperation for having to keep their love secret in the society of that time, they drowned themselves in 1911 in Stockholm’s Hammarby Sjö. To do this they tied their bodies together and weighed down the veils of their hats with stones.
In their memory, the gay community puts a veil around their shoulders during the annual ‘Pride Festival.’ In 2012 the ‘Spartacus Guide,’ a guidebook for gay men, crowned Sweden the world’s most gay-friendly country. Maybe that is why the two women now look so content.
Across the street, the terrace of Mosebacke offers refreshments and fabulous views across Stockholm, described by Strindberg in “The Red Room.”
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